Haas livery, 2021

Haas’s Russian-coloured F1 car skirts ban on country’s flag in sport

2021 F1 season

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The hot livery trend for the 2021 F1 season appears to be national racing colours.

The two new names on the grid this year – Aston Martin and Alpine – debuted their latest styles this week, adopting the traditional shades of British racing green and French racing blue respectively.

Now Haas has joined the club. The American-run cars have usually raced in the grey and red of parent company Haas Automation, aside from their disastrous flirtation with a black-and-gold energy drink brand in 2019.

For 2021 the team’s cars will run in the white, blue and red colours of the Russian flag. The change is accompanied by the arrival of a new title sponsor, Uralkali. The Russian fertiliser producer is connected to one of the team’s two new drivers, Nikita Mazepin, via his father Dmitry.

Uralkali’s logos have appeared on many cars Mazepin has driven previously, including Force India’s Formula 1 car in 2018. The strong association with the colours of the Russian flag is a departure, however, and distinct from the company’s red and green branding.

Uralkali logo
Uralkali’s corporate colours are red and green
Haas’s new look follows a recently-announced ban on Russian competitors, including Mazepin, using their country’s flag in professional sports. This follows a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in December on an investigation into doping by Russian athletes by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which the FIA is a signatory to.

The decision tightly prescribes how Mazepin may associate himself with his country’s flag and national colours. He is not allowed to bear the image of the Russian flag or its national symbols such as the two-headed eagle on his sporting equipment – in this case, his car. However he may incorporate incorporate the colours of the Russian flag.

Haas livery, 2021
The colours of the Russian flag feature prominently on the cars Mazepin and Mick Schumacher will race

Haas appears to have trod a careful path around this distinction. Several areas of the car’s livery feature the familiar white, blue and red pattern of the Russian flag. They are not arranged in a flag-shaped rectangle on the car, though the new logo of ‘Uralkali Haas F1 Team’ includes a thin strip of the Russian tricolour.

Nikita Mazepin, Haas, 2021
Mazepin is forbidden from wearing Russian flag at races
Mazepin cannot use the phrase ‘Russia’, ‘Russian’, or ‘Russian Automobile Federation’, none of which appear on the images of the livery issued by the team.

RaceFans understands the FIA had been made aware of Haas’s livery plans and the design is considered compliant with the restrictions set down by the CAS letter.

Following his promotion from Formula 2, Mazepin will make his F1 debut in the Bahrain Grand Prix later this month. If he continues in F1 next year, he will remain subject to the same restrictions until at least the end of 2022, but no longer, as CAS cut the original length of the ban from four years to two.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 72 comments on “Haas’s Russian-coloured F1 car skirts ban on country’s flag in sport”

    1. Hm, I would think the way the flag is on the front wing DOES represent a flag. It certainly is intended to look like that (Haas can argument it is just the shape of the wings panes though.)

      But sure, I guess this helps Putins Russia put up that middle finger to the world of sports. Doesn’t change the perception.

      And it is pretty evident that Haas has no other sponsors on the car anymore than Russia (paying for it by means of Mazepin’s company)

      1. Aside of “1&1” who are a German telecommunication & internet provider.

        1. Ah, are they German @banana88x? Guess then it’s my a) contract wasn’t finished!

      2. Yeah, that front wing is a bit blatant (other bits, ‘clever’ to have a red line with on one side white that mimics flag, on other side the airbox/rest of the nose), definitely makes one wonder how long the FIA looked at that before giving okay @bascb

        And yeah, now I wonder whether 1&1 had a) a running contract they couldn’t stop, b) are good friends of Gene, or b) associated with Russia/Mazepin, because they are a notable third bit of ‘who is paying for this’. And also, yeah, clearly Haas isn’t in it with the enthusiasm he started it with any more, might well be sold before next season.

        1. @bascb
          They are linked to Mick Schumacher.
          They don´t seem to bother too much because they have announced the partnership with Uralkali Haas on their homepage just today.

        2. I am pretty sure that the 1&1 logo is there because they supply services to Haas.

      3. But sure, I guess this helps Putins Russia put up that middle finger to the world of sports.

        Don’t see it like that; I wonder if anybody else feels ‘done by’. @bascb
        To me it’s just three colours you see in many flags (at least similar hues), and a welcome change to make the car look less sombre.
        I don’t care if it resembles, or sneakily represents, the Russian flag.

        1. @coldfly, well, it seems to matter to you somehow since you comment on it though.

          Look at the front wing. You see 2 russian flags. It is clearly presented as such by the team and their main (only) sponsor. As the article mentions, they did a solid job of getting that in without falling explicitly faul of the ruling that they are not allowed to. That is a message to those sporting authorities, as well as competitors and other countries.

          Yes, Blue, Red and white are used (although in a wide range of hues) in many flags. So?

          The livery certainly looks a lot more pleasant than the drab gray they used. The designer did a very good job with it.

          1. it seems to matter to you somehow since you comment on it though.

            I merely responded to your comment @BasCB. ;)

            I honestly don’t care about the colour scheme. But I seem to be in the minority here.

            Just a pity that the FIA discontinued the Race as One ‘rainbow’.

          2. Putin's Gimp
            4th March 2021, 13:22

            Er 1&1 are also a sponsor (German tele comms on board due to Schumacher) so they have more than one sponsor. Don’t see people getting het up about Alpine having the french flag on the front wing. Although I have to say it is very funny watching Americans getting annoyed that their team is being taken over/propped up by Russian money and the impact that has on sponsorship and liveries.

        2. @coldfly It’s not in the spirit of the ban, and, therefore, cynical. They’re not being subtle about it either.

          Would they even have used these colors if not for the ban? I doubt it, as Uralkali’s business isn’t promoting Russia.

          1. Exactly @maichael. Not to mention Uralkali’s corporate colours are different.

    2. Politics are important, but politics aside, I think the livery looks really sharp

    3. I actually like the look of the car however, thanks to their association with Mazepin and his family, Haas is now my least favourite team.

      I fully expect Mazepin to buy them out before the start of the 2022 season too.

      1. What’s wrong about the family?

      2. Sergey Martyn
        4th March 2021, 21:51

        Tubbs to Sonny:
        ‘Hey Elvis, where does Crockett get his music from? The Sears and Roebuck catalog?’

    4. Ban national flags on cars but play the national anthems on the podium with flags in attendance.

      Ridiculous situation.

      1. @Witan no they won’t be able to play the Russian national anthem or fly the Russian flag on the podium, not that Mazepin or Haas are likely to win a race (anthem) or get on the podium (flag) this year anyway.

        1. James Georgio
          5th March 2021, 10:26

          When I first saw it my reaction was “oh, they put on the American flag colors….red white and blue….and after I read this article that mentions that they have the Russian colors….OMG…..Sooooo?!?!?
          Common….snap out of this stop the haterate….politics aside

    5. Utterly laughable for the FIA to say this isn’t a BLATENT representation of the Russian flag – Putin’s hidden billions getting spent somewhere…

      Also a massive shame to see HAAS fall so far. We all thought Rich Energy was the bottom of the barrel, but obviously that was just the scum lining it.

      1. @joeypropane I actually don’t think the FIA have much to do it with it. WADA found Russia to have a systemic athletics doping programme and the Court of Arbitration for Sport went with a two year ban on flags and any nationalistic associations. I think the FIA could have certainly flagged their concerns, but ultimately it would be HAAS against the Arbitration for Sport’s ruling. It wouldn’t take place in an FIA court, it’s not them deciding.

        Even Max Mosley wouldn’t get in the middle of a legal battle like that (and he has had his battles with certain flags).

        Personally I can’t see why the ban is any real deterrent, perhaps just focus on athletics if that’s where the problem is/was, Mazepin has done many things, but has never been accused of doping. If he wants to have a Russian flag on his car, let him have one, banning him from having one just creates more division, that ‘division’ is probably why it’s there in the first place.

        I can’t imagine society in 80 years time looking back on us kindly, thinking (they used to ban colours in certain orders on cars in case they represented ‘flags’?)

        1. Why? Because they cheated in the High Jump

        2. There will be nothing of today left to look back on, at this rate.
          It will all have been erased from history, for being retrospectively offensive.

      2. I don’t know what business the FIA has telling teams what their livery should look like, or how they arrange colours on their cars. It’s clearly a matter for the team.

        At what point does that stop? Should the FIA have outlawed the pink Racing Point because it was horrible on the eyes too?

    6. Donna Gearbox
      4th March 2021, 10:53

      So this troubled Russian kid brings Daddy’s money to sponsor what is the singularly most ugly racing car I have seen in the past Seven hundred Grand Prix.
      This Haas car is the UGLY CHAMP of all time. Shame and disappointment and embarrassment to Formula One.

      1. What makes it the most ugly car? The car itself looks like any other F1 car these days. The livery is really not the worst of all, the ROKIT Williams springs to my mind there.

      2. I have no love lost for Mazpin and his zillions, but they kept Haas on the grid, and as stated by @zomtec, the Haas car’s general shape is basically the same as any other current F1 machine, and the actual livery is quite nice (color associations by some not withstanding). I’m thinking that the mere “Russianess” of the Haas entry, along with its ties to Mazepin are the basis for your dislike of its appearance.

      3. Sergey Martyn
        4th March 2021, 15:15

        Ain’t it was Lance’s daddy’s money for firing Checo?

    7. There was me assuming the red white and blue related to the American flag of Haas when i first saw it, silly me

      1. They can mean whatever you want them to mean. They are just colours. Every car has colours.

        1. If you put them in a certain order they have a meaning!

          1. If you want to interpret it as that one meaning, of course.
            Or it can mean other things, if you want it to.
            The choice is yours.

            1. So the new Alpine livery means what?

            2. In this case it is crystal clear and doesn’t need any interpretation: Russian flag.

            3. @sonnycrockett
              Well, the Alpine colours are also red white and blue, so I guess they must mean Russia too. And they have black on the car, so they clearly support BLM…

              Is it really so bad if a car resembles something? There are far more important things in life to concern ourselves with.
              Or perhaps not, for some people.

            4. @S

              No the Alpine livery is BLUE, WHITE and RED, arranged horizontally i.e. the French flag.

              The Haas colours are WHITE, BLUE and RED arranged vertically i.e. the Russian flag.

              Clearly nuance isn’t your strong point but do try to keep up.

              Oh… and the Mercedes was re-liveried black exactly for that reason!

        2. @sonnycrockett is correct

          It is the order of the colours that is important.
          The colours are not red white and blue.

          They are White Blue and Red, as in the russian flag.
          The colours for the French flag are Blue White and Red, the colours of the French flag.
          The USA colours are Red White and Blue.

          The order stipulates what flag, what country.

          It is similar to the flags of Gemran and Belgium, same colours, different again in a different order and another difference between those countries flags is that the stripes are vertical for Belgium and horizontal for Germany.

          It is not matter of interpretation, rather is it is a matter of fact and this is important to the countries and their citizens.

    8. So Ferrari can’t have their “Mission Winnow” logo in white because it kinda looks like a Marlboro packet but Haas can have they car be a giant allusion to the Russian flag? I’m not saying Ferrari should be allowed to have the logo in white, but this is a ridiculously double standard situation, in my opinion…

      1. @gordess The Mission Winnow situation is a matter of national law (and we’ll probably see it again next time F1 goes to a country that permits that advertising). The Russia situation is a regulation, that did not stipulate that Russian liveries were banned because that would itself clash with some national laws (and not just Russia’s). The FIA would only have been able to enforce the law if it could prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was using Russian flags and not just a particular colour combination in a pattern that resembles a flag.

        Yes, this is the sort of fine distinction lawyers will happily argue about all day.

    9. I’m sure they’ll get a warm reception in Austin :)

    10. Maybe Mazepin can take an upskirt photo of the car and upload it to social media…

      1. That would crack me up.

    11. 2019 was when Haas used the black-and-gold livery due to Rich Energy.
      Somewhat weird this whole thing, considering the ban on showing the Russian flag, etc. It may be compliant under the CAS letter, but still. A small double-standard situation compared to Ferrari’s Mission Winnow case as pointed out above.

    12. It’s the American way. Politics. Free agency. Sell yourself to the highest bidder.
      Everything else is fluff.

    13. It’s sad that a very dull livery is actually a vast improvement on all Haas liveries.

      That being said, this just feels like Haas getting more than ready to sell the team during this year. I doubt Gene wants to keep going…

    14. JR Love (@dermechaniker)
      4th March 2021, 13:12

      I’m in no way a flag waving American, but it cuts to see the American flag no longer featured on the car, but instead clearly featuring a Russian one.

      Sigh. Here I was hoping for a Dan Gurney inspired, modern version of Anglo American Racers, sadly Haas never came close and has, instead, hitched their wagon to a country that has a sordid past with the USA.

      There are some hardcore F1 fans here, folks. Sadly, you’d never really know it.

      Ugh.

    15. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      4th March 2021, 13:20

      I remember when Haas first entered F1 a lot of fuss was made of them being an American team and how exciting the commercial opportunities were. Since then they have had no American drivers race for them, no prominent US sponsors and they remain UK based with Italian designed and built cars. Now they are bankrolled buy the father of a spoilt Russian child playing at being a professional racing driver with the cars painted in the colours of the Russian flag. I guess America just isn’t all that bothered about F1.

      1. @jackisthestig the right hand turns are off-putting plus there are no competition cautions

    16. Mazepin cannot use the phrase ‘Russia’, ‘Russian’, or ‘Russian Automobile Federation’

      What does that mean? Putting aside everything he’s done, he can’t say that he’s happy to make his home debut at the R*ssian Grand Prix, or he’s proud for his fans in R*ssia to score his first points? I mean I understand that he can’t earn his achievements for Russia, but he is still from somewhere and has a nationality of that place, which happens to be Russia.

      Also, it would be weird if his home race couldn’t be called the Russian Grand Prix anymore, and they went with Sochi Grand Prix, ie. the place of the olympics where the doping scandal kicked off.

    17. I’m American
      And at first I thought “oh nice red white and blue” but I guess it was still too early in the morning for me to realize the order of the colors.

      Now. It’s “ugh, just go back to grey and drop it all ready.” And why can’t Haas find a American sponsor. I realize or driver pool gets eaten up by that nascar monster, but c’mon.

    18. Gene Hass (who seems like a nice but naive guy) needs to sell his team as soon as possible, it’s completely toxic for multiple reasons and will surely harm any benefits he’s already getting.

        1. :)
          Gene Haas is far from being naive. If he sells the team, it will be for profit. He is pragmatic as you would expect from a normal American businessman.

      1. someone or something
        4th March 2021, 21:52

        @emu55
        Nice and naive? That man did time for creating a tax evasion scheme that ‘earned’ him $ 20 million, and hiring a private investigator to threaten witnesses and their families with bodily harm. He’s so charming, the Mazepins may be the ones who feel dirty for having to make business with him.

    19. At least we all have no doubt who the pay driver is.

    20. Aesthetically I quite like the look of the car. However, I do wonder why an American company taking part in F1 with backing from Ferrari has to sell out so completely to a Russian billionaire who wants a plaything for his son. If Haas really don’t want to stump up the cash then just give up and leave.

      Or alternatively we are always being told that the U.S. is a great untapped resource/market for F1 but Haas, an American company cannot find a U.S. sponsor willing to support them.

      People will compare this to what Lawrence Stroll has done but at least he is doing it with more style, more class and more financial commitment.

      1. Stop thinking about it in a nationalist sense and you will understand. It is just business. Businesses lash on to nationalism only when it is economically viable. Haas can do what they want, and they take f1 seriously enough to be in it, giving us an extra team. They also have to find a way to make money to be able to afford to participate in F1. They have no responsibility to find sponsors in USA, which is like a 3rd world country at the moment after trumps mishandling of covid.

      2. @phil-f1-21 I’m not sure why they went with Mazepin money but in the end Haas is an organization and they have a lot of workers there who need that job. It is just a point of view if someone wants to quit their job because some russian bloke came to Haas with some financial backing and his son happens to be a racing driver.

        I don’t like Nikita or his father either but as Stroll sr Mazepin saved hundreds and hundreds of jobs.

        1. It is good that the team is continuing but I find the commitment of Haas a bit half-hearted. Admittedly they have not done well in the past couple of seasons. So maybe the money has just run short and this is the only way they can keep going. It is disappointing though that an American team has not ever been able to generate much in the way of U.S. sponsors over the years.

          I hope Schumacher has the opportunity to thrive and is not disadvantaged by being in a team environment indebted to the father of his closest rival.

    21. What a terrible livery, i look at this in one way, F1=CAPITALISM, money rules. Alt right autocratic governments are a magnet to capitalism. Trump had an open invitation to rule the world but failed because he is so stupid as an individual. I find it funny that this livery represents not only 2 of the most corrupt and colinial countries in the world USA and Russia, countries that decimated indigenous cultures, but also the French colours, the French were possibly the worst imperialists countries of all. That colour scheme is worse than nazi symbolism if you take into account how much damage those 3 nations did to the world’s people, and are still doing! The british are historically the worst for human rights violations with how they destroyed nations and languages, but hey, they created F1 so we dont care hey, until a russian scheme comes up on an f1 car… Duh

      1. Thoughts on the January stormings?

    22. As an American F1 fan, Haas should be the team I want to root for each grand prix. But every decision they make pushes me further and further away from any sort of support whatsoever. I know find myself rooting against them as a team, which is a pretty unfortunate state of affairs. I wish Mick Schumacher good luck and hope that his time in Haas doesn’t damage his future career prospects too much.

    23. It feels like they should get rid of the “HAAS” on the sidepod and replace it with “Mazepin Racing”.

      1. @geekzilla9000 if the boy does well this year, I reckon daddy will buy the team

        1. No “if” about it…

          1 – Mazepin’s dad will buy the team regardless of his son’s results
          2 – Mazepin Jnr keeps the seat regardless of his results…

    24. Yet another sign of what its coming this year: HAAS will be sold to Mazepin, and then I believe they will move to a cheaper IndyCar program (they already have the facilities in North Carolina for an open wheel racing program with Dallara…whom is also the supplier of the IndyCar chassis…). Just wait for it…

    25. I’m happy the fia, haas and the Russians involved in f1 have found a solution to the problem, a way to express themselves like everyone else.

    26. Sergey Martyn
      4th March 2021, 21:36

      I just wonder what has excited you guys SO much about these colors?
      Envy, caused by brainwashing?
      BBC and CNN flamethrower bazooka propaganda which Soviet media NEVER EVER dreamed of?
      Please, don’t be so one-dimensional.

    27. someone or something
      4th March 2021, 21:51

      @emu55
      Nice and naive? That man did time for creating a tax evasion scheme that ‘earned’ him $ 20 million, and hiring a private investigator to threaten witnesses and their families with bodily harm. He’s so charming, the Mazepins may be the ones who feel dirty for having to make business with him.

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