The Haas F1 Team will run an all-white car during the third and final day of the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the Uralkali branding being removed as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
There has been widespread condemnation of Russia’s invasion of their neighbours, and Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen have already said it would be difficult to see Formula 1 racing at the Sochi Autodrom in Russia in September.
But with Russian sponsors and a Russian driver on board, all eyes were on Haas, and despite running their usual livery on Thursday, they will remove the Uralkali branding ahead of Friday’s running.
Nikita Mazepin will continue to participate in the running and will have the driving duties on Friday morning before hands the VF-22 over to team-mate Mick Schumacher for the final afternoon session.
“Haas F1 Team will present its VF-22 in a plain white livery, minus Uralkali branding, for the third and final day of track running at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday 25 February,” the team said in a statement on Thursday evening.
“Nikita Mazepin will drive as planned in the morning session with Mick Schumacher taking over in the afternoon.
“No further comment will be made at this time regarding team partner agreements.”
Perhaps key was that the Uralkali name was also missing from Haas’ team logo on the statement, and with tension rising in the area between Russia and the west, it could mean the end of the deal that sees Uralkali adorn the cars and perhaps even the end of Mazepin racing in Formula 1.
Both Team Principal Guenther Steiner and Mazepin also had planned press conferences cancelled in the wake of the Russian invasion.