The new painting of the Haas team, in which Mick Schumacher 2021 celebrates his debut in formula 1, is on the watchlist of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The WADA has now officially confirmed this. The topic is on the screen and will be investigated together with the relevant associations, it is said at the request of “Motorsport-Total.com”.
The concrete object of the investigation is the obvious reminiscence to the Russian flag. This is problematic in that the International Court of Sports (CAS) in Lausanne decided in December, Russian athletes will not be allowed to participate in international competitions under Russian flag in the next two years.
Background of the sanction was the Russian doping scandal around the Olympic Winter Games 2014 in Sochi, and includes Russian Formula One pilot Nikita Masepin, At Haas team-mate of Mick Schumacher.
Masepin may participate in Formula-1-WM 2021, but not under Russian flag and not under Russian license.
Haas team leader Gunther Steiner can not see a problem in the new colors: “We have already developed this painting, before the whole thing with the WADA and the Russian flag came out. We cannot, of course, use the Russian flag as a Russian flag.”But one could very well use the colors white, blue and red, he says.
“There are rules of WADA that are quite clear what you can and cannot do,”Steiner explains.”There are rules of WADA that are quite clear about what you can and cannot do.” It is the athlete who must not show the Russian flag and not the team. The team is an American team. Nikita’s belt buckle won’t have the Russian flag on it, and neither will the car. But the colours of the painting cannot be limited.”
The CAS judgment specifically states that”on clothes, equipment or personal items”of Russian athletes”neither a national emblem nor another national symbol of the Russian Federation”may be depicted. Whether or not the Russian flag is depicted on the Haas VR-21 is ultimately a matter of discretion.
Steiner is clear. While it may be obvious to media representatives that the Russian flag is depicted on the car, he says, specifically addressed by “Motorsport-Total.com”. But the colors of Russian and American were the same, and Haas was an American team after all.
FIA does not veto Haas painting
Before the painting was officially presented, Haas has clarified the painting with the World Motor Association FIA. He obviously has no concerns: “The CAS decision does not prohibit the use of the colors of the Russian flag”, it says on request of “Motorsport-Total.com” from Paris.
Steiner emphasizes in this context the observation, that his racing stable will officially start as Uralkali Haas F1 team from 2021. Uralkali is the company of Nikita Masepin’s father Dmitri, and the colors of the Uralkali logo were originally red and green.
But on the 4th of March, on the day of the Haas presentation, Uralkali sent an exciting press release in this context.” In the course of a sponsorship project, a new logo is presented to improve the recognition value for the company.
Practical: The Uralkali logo is no longer red-green, but red-blue and thus fits perfectly with the painting of the Haas VR-21. that the car does not primarily depict the Russian national colours, but those of the new title sponsor.
Speculation about possible investment
But what has been interpreted by Western media mostly as the distinct national pride of the Masepin family, The team belongs to Gene Haas and is not for sale, it is said.
But an exclusively American team on a global and prestigious stage such as formula 1, This is a project that the powerful Russian President Vladimir Putin should like even more in times when the humiliated Russian sport is not allowed to compete under his own flag.
Well possible, that the Haas painting could really be a signal to the Kreml in, and if Putin likes it and loses a praiseworthy word about it to the Russian public, This would probably significantly facilitate Masepin’s search for powerful Russian partners to take over the team.
“What they did was great”
But that remains speculation today. No speculation was the story of “Motorsport-Total.com”, that talks about sponsorship took place between the Austrian company BWT and Haas. Steiner, however, relativizes the idea that Mick Schumacher would have gone for a hair in Pink Formula One: “We talk to a lot of people,” he wavers.
“If I had to say how many people we didn’t get a deal with, it gets boring,” he says and adds: “BWT is a good company. What they did was great. They had the courage to come in a pink car. I like that. I know a lot of people who run companies, and they talk to everybody. But we never came close to a deal with BWT.”