Haas denied Sunday F1 test outing to make up for air freight delays

MANAMA : The Haas Formula One outfit have been denied permission to test on Sunday and will instead have to run longer hours over the three days of the final pre-season test in Bahrain to make up for lost time, team boss Guenther Steiner said on Thursday.

The U.S.-owned team missed the first half, or four hours, of the opening day of running at the Sakhir track after the aircraft ferrying their freight, including their car, was delayed by a technical issue.

The squad, who did manage to hit the track with Brazilian Pietro Fittipaldi after lunch, had hoped to make up for lost time by running for half a day on Sunday.

But that would have meant running on the day after the test's official Saturday end, which they were not permitted to do.

Instead, they can carry on running beyond the chequered flag on the three days of the test, which would mean longer hours for the team.

"We were denied the testing on Sunday," said team boss Guenther Steiner.

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"Everyday we can make up four hours of testing but we need to make it up at the end of the day."

Steiner said Haas would have needed the unanimous backing of the other teams to have been allowed to run on Sunday.

McLaren, he added, had blocked their bid to run for an extra half-day.

"The regulation, it needs to be three days in a row and it needs to be just unanimously voted that we can do it."

Haas have had a difficult few years, battling near the back of the pack.

They finished last overall in 2021 and were also the only outfit to not score a point.

More recently, they were caught up in the fallout of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and severed ties with Russian driver Nikita Mazepin and title sponsor Uralkali, owned by his oligarch father Dmitry, last week.

Both are on an EU sanctions blacklist.

When asked why they were the only team to have faced freight delays, Steiner joked:

"Because we’re unlucky.

"It was just the wrong plane at the wrong time," he added saying the plane had been chartered by the sport's commercial rights holder Formula One Management.

"The plane had some technical issues and it was stuck in Turkey, it never made it to the UK and that was it."

(Reporting by Abhishek Takle; editing by Toby Davis)

Artmotion Asia

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