HomeSportsFormula 1F1 news LIVE: Nikita Mazepin’s Haas future still in doubt despite FIA...

F1 news LIVE: Nikita Mazepin’s Haas future still in doubt despite FIA clearance

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The drama in the build-up to the 2022 Formula 1 season continues with Haas’ Russian driver the focus after a compelling week of testing in Barcelona ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix later this month. Amid the conflict in Ukraine, the Russian driver’s future was in doubt after IOC guidance to not permit athletes from Russia or Belarus to compete. But despite the FIA providing the green light for Nikita Mazpin to continue racing, under a neutral flag admittedly, Mazepin could find himself out of a seat as the team continue to discuss whether to procede with the son of Dmitry Mazepin, who is the owner of their main sponsor Uralkali.

There are only three weeks left until the first F1 race though, the Bahrain Grand Prix, in what promises to be a packed calendar. Each team has now unveiled their new car with vital data logged at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Lewis Hamilton finishing quickest ahead of the next round of testing on 10 March in Bahrain.

But there was the fascinating innovation displayed by Red Bull and their sidepods, which got a close inspection from Hamilton. Quite how valuable they promise to be is unclear with the riegning champion Max Verstappen seemingly strategising his runout in Barcelona without pushing for the absolute fastest time. There will be one less race after F1 confirmed last week the Russian Grand Prix will not take place following the escalating crisis in Ukraine. Sebastian Vettel had already made clear that he would boycott the race, with Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto revealing that teams met last night “to try to understand what the situation is and how to cope and how to manage it”.

Follow all the latest news and updates from F1 below.


Replacing Russian Grand Prix ‘no problem at all’, F1 confirm

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has said it will be “no problem at all” to fill the gap left by the Sochi event and maintain the record-breaking 23-race schedule.

It leaves a gap in the schedule in between the Italian Grand Prix on 11 September and the Singapore Grand Prix on 2 October. The Russian Grand Prix was originally set to take place on 25 September.

Jack Rathborn2 March 2022 08:50


‘There is a lot of work to do’: Red Bull reveal weight problem with 2022 car

Red Bull have confirmed that they are one of a number of Formula 1 teams struggling with a car that weighs significantly more than the minimum.

The minimum weight was upped this year to account for changes in regulations about car aerodynamics, with teams forced to significantly redesign their cars.

However teams are reportedly finding cutting weight troublesome as they try to be as close to the minimum as possible and avoid sacrificing speed.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes that only a single team are not having problems trying to shed mass, and thinks another raising of the minimum could occur.

Jack Rathborn2 March 2022 08:40


Max Verstappen expecting ‘completely different’ Red Bull for start of season after testing

Red Bull are “in talks” with Max Verstappen about extending the Dutchman’s contract, it has been revealed.

Verstappen secured his first Formula 1 drivers’ championship with his dramatic and controversial denial of Lewis Hamilton at the season-ending 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

While the 24-year-old is under contract until the end of the 2023 season, a multi-year extension on what are likely to be improved terms has been considered likely.

Helmut Marko, advisor to the team and the head of Red Bull’s driver development program, has confirmed that discussions are underway.

Jack Rathborn2 March 2022 08:30


Max Verstappen expecting ‘completely different’ Red Bull for start of season after testing

Max Verstappen says he was happy with Red Bull’s performance at the first pre-season testing session in Barcelona but believes his car will be “completely different” by the time Formula One heads to Bahrain next week.

Verstappen will begin his title defence at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on 20 March but before that his Red Bull car will return to the track in Sakhir for the official pre-season test.

Amid the biggest overhaul in rules and regulations in several years, teams are fine-tuning their cars after hitting the track for the first time following weeks in the factories.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has revealed they are not the only team to be having issues with car weight, while Mercedes have paid particular attention to the “interesting” sidepods on the RB18.

Jack Rathborn2 March 2022 08:20


Banning Russia from sport is ‘unfair’, former F1 driver claims

Former Formula One driver Daniil Kvyat has claimed it is “unfair” to ban Russian athletes and teams from international sport as Nikita Mazepin’s future at Haas remains in the balance.

Jack Rathborn2 March 2022 08:10


Nikita Mazepin: FIA allow Russian driver to race in Formula One under neutral flag

Nikita Mazepin will be allowed to continue racing for Haas in the Formula One 2022 season, after the FIA opted to have Russian and Belarusian drivers compete under a neutral flag.

Many sports and their head organisations have opted to outright prohibit athletes and participants of those nationalities from taking part in their representative environments, following the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s forces.

Jack Rathborn2 March 2022 08:02


Nikita Mazepin future still in doubt despite FIA clearing Russian to continue racing under a neutral flag

Russian driver Nikita Mazepin’s future in Formula 1 is still in doubt despite being allowed to continue racing in Formula 1 under a neutral flag.

The FIA has officially announced they will ignore IOC guidance in that no Russian or Belarusian athletes should be allowed to compete in any international competitions until further notice.

But despite being permitted to drive under a neutral flag, Mazepin’s Haas future could still be in doubt.

His seat could be taken from him as the team’s future with main Russian sponsor Uralkali, owned by Nikita’s father Dmitry, continues to be unresolved.

The team are expected to make an update in the coming hours.

Jack Rathborn2 March 2022 07:49


Daniel Ricciardo says McLaren executed ‘pretty flawless’ pre-season testing in Barcelona

Daniel Ricciardo maintains McLaren are in a “good spot” after pre-season testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya last week.

“I think we’re in a good spot, but there’s always something to work on and improve. So, we’ll give the team some data to work with and some areas of work to do [and] I’ll focus on what I can keep doing better,” said Ricciardo.

“Overall, a pretty flawless three days for the team, a really awesome start to the season. Thanks to everyone back at [the factory] for putting the hard work in over the winter to put us in this position.

“It was good to get a little bit of wet running, there was quite a lot to learn from that,” he said. “We then got into a different programme [to Thursday] where we racked up plenty of laps, which was really productive.

“Now it’s about giving that information back to the team and trying to build on this positive start.”

Jack Rathborn1 March 2022 20:00


‘It’s not a place I want to be going’: F1 drivers praise decision to cancel Russian Grand Prix

Formula One said on Friday that the race in Sochi, due to be held on 25 September, would be “impossible to hold in the current circumstances” following the Vladimir Putin-backed invasion on Ukraine this week.

The race has yet to be replaced on the F1 schedule but the sport’s stance against Russia was universally agreed upon following a meeting of its teams on Thursday, and backed by several drivers at pre-season testing in Barcelona.

It comes after four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel declared he would not race in Russia in the wake of the invasion on Ukraine, a stance which added further pressure on F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali to call off the grand prix.

Jack Rathborn1 March 2022 19:45


Mercedes monitoring Red Bull’s ‘interesting’ sidepods after testing

Mercedes have hinted that they may consider copying Red Bull’s sidepods after the unique design caught the eye during preseason testing in Barcelona.

With aerodynamic rules overhauled ahead of the 2022 Formula 1 season, the testing in Spain was a first chance for the teams to assess both their new car designs and those of their rivals on circuit.

Red Bull’s new RB18 car stood out with its raised and undercut sidepods, which appear to allow more air to flow beneath them and were rather different to the designs of the other new cars.

Jack Rathborn1 March 2022 19:30

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