Haas will contest first day of testing after freight troubles

Haas' cars were left stranded in the UK after the cargo plane that was set to take them to Bahrain broke down.

Haas have confirmed that they will miss half a day of the pre-season test in Bahrain this week after cargo issues set them back.

Their cars and other essential equipment was stranded in Doncaster after the cargo plane that was supposed to transfer them to Bahrain broke down in Istanbul.

It was then reported that everything would be shipped to Germany, where it would thereon be transferred over to Sakhir for testing.

“According to our information, it should now be flown to Leipzig and from there to Bahrain,” said a report by Auto Motor und Sport.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner displayed concern over the situation, conceding that his team may be forced to have to miss the entire first day due to the logistical issues.

“We may have to write off the first test day. All the other teams have a two-day lead in preparation over us,” he said.

However, it has now transpired that the team will be able to get to Bahrain and offload their equipment in time to make the afternoon session on day one on Thursday.

“The team’s freight arrived late last night to the circuit in Bahrain,” they confirmed in a statement posted on their socials.

“This delay will impact our programme but we are targeting being out on track for the second session [on] Thursday afternoon with Pietro Fittipaldi driving the VF-22.”

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This latest issue follows on from their ordeal with former name partner Uralkali, with whom they severed their partnership after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Dmitry Mazepin, part owner of the Russia-based company, is an oligarch who paid for Nikita Mazepin’s seat, and thus the 23-year-old had his contract terminated, something he took issue with having complied with the FIA’s terms for Russian and Belarusian competitors participating in motorsport.

It is as yet unclear who will his replacement will be and, while Pietro Fittipaldi will be in the car during pre-season testing, owner Gene Haas has admitted that he would like a driver with more “experience” to get behind the wheel when the season gets underway on 20 March.