WADA looking into Haas F1 livery after Russian flag ban

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is looking into the Formula 1 livery revealed by Haas for 2021 amid questions over its compliance with a ban against Russia.

WADA looking into Haas F1 livery after Russian flag ban

Haas revealed a striking new design for its VF-21 car on Friday that featured the red, white and blue colours of the Russian flag to reflect new title sponsor Uralkali, which is the backer of driver Nikita Mazepin.

But it raised concerns about its compliance with a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which announced in December that Russian athletes were banned from competing at world championship events for the next two years.

The ban related to state-sponsored doping and cover-ups at the 2014 Winter Olympics following investigations by WADA, which had recommended a four-year ban.

The Russian Automobile Federation confirmed in February that this would extend to the FIA's world championships, meaning Mazepin cannot race under the Russian flag this year. 

Mazepin is also prohibited from using national emblems, flags or symbols, as well as the word "Russia" or "Russian", on his clothing or equipment.

Haas claimed its livery was not designed to circumvent the CAS ruling, but WADA has confirmed it is looking into the matter. 

Haas VF-21

Haas VF-21

Photo by: Haas F1 Team

"WADA is aware of this matter and is looking into it with the relevant authorities," a spokesperson from WADA told Autosport.

The uncertainty would appear to lie within the clause of the ruling that says Russian athletes "shall not display publicly […] any national emblem or other national symbol of the Russian Federation, including without limitation, on their clothes, equipment or other personal items."

Following a request for comment from Autosport about the compliance of the Haas livery, the FIA said: "The team has clarified the livery with the FIA - the CAS decision does not prohibit the use of the colours of the Russian flag."

The initial statement by the Russian Automobile Federation said Mazepin and other Russian drivers in FIA world championships could still use the colours of the Russian flag, as well as the acronym RAF, which stands for 'Russian Automobile Federation'.

"Obviously we cannot use the Russian flag as the Russian flag, but you can use colours on a car," said Haas F1 boss Gunther Steiner.

"In the end, it's the athlete which cannot display the Russian flag and not the team. The team is an American team."

Mazepin said on Thursday that it was "very unfortunate" the ban had come into force ahead of his debut F1 season, where he is expected to compete as a neutral athlete from Russia.

"Currently I'm still in a discussion on how I will be classified," Mazepin said.

"There is no decision yet."

shares
comments

Related video

Portugal returns to F1 calendar as third round of 2021 season
Previous article

Portugal returns to F1 calendar as third round of 2021 season

Next article

Azerbaijan GP to take place behind closed doors

Azerbaijan GP to take place behind closed doors
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022