Meanwhile in Barcelona

The big news in Barcelona came this evening when Haas announced that it will run a white car tomorrow, without Uralkali branding and without the livery as previously seen. This is quite significant in the circumstances. Nikita Mazepin will drive tomorrow morning (as planned) but the team says it will not say anything else about its partnership arrangements “at this time”. Clearly all is not rosy in the garden…

The time sheets were topped again by Charles Leclerc, although his best time was slower than yesterday. The key point is that Ferrari has now completed 303 laps, which is considerably more than everyone else. AlphaTauri has done 268, Alpine 252, Aston Martin 248, Williams 240, Mercedes 233, McLaren 229 and Red Bull 225, while Haas (151) and Alfa Romeo (124) are still lagging behind.

34 thoughts on “Meanwhile in Barcelona

  1. Joe, meanwhile Hamilton has been in the press bad mouthing the race stewards and calling them “biased” and such like.
    He has never been one to think before shooting off, but should bringing the sport into disrepute be a punishable offence?
    I suggest docking his points from the first three races.
    Make that five races.

        1. So, the former racing champion, current champion of peoples’ rights, appears strangely silent in the aftermath of this inhumane incursion on freedoms, and the right to choose their democratic future. Come on Lewis, the world is more than putting on a t-shirt. Speak up! Be the leader you think you are.

    1. I’d say his comments should have been behind closed doors to the right people. If stewards are travelling with drivers, and socialising then that’s not impartial and clearly wrong.

      I can’t remember a particular bias though.

      If there’s no basis to the claims then Hamilton should be reprimanded the same way Horner was. No place for unfounded accusations against officials.

      Maybe a bit of impartiality in your words wouldn’t go amiss Al Byrn? You’re quite often OTT.

      1. They’re probably travelling with the Stewards because they don’t have private jets so the only way to get to the same place at the same time is on the commercial flights.

      2. All part of the problem that the blazers have become stars in their own mind. In the old days the blazers were there running the show to the rules and the competitors were the personalities.

        It’s not just Formula 1, all sports have gone this way. When administrators and officials have spokespersons you know there is a problem. They just there to run the show to the rules.

        There is an Australian referee in the oval ball game, he didn’t need Google as he was an expert on everything, sadly social media has given a platform for this to grow exponentially.

        In F1, Masi appeared to like the limelight (it may just be perception) but he was in the limelight the way the channels were opened up to spice up the show. He was always on a hiding to nothing when there was a real controversial decision, because there will be someone happy and someone not.

    2. Al, you might want to read what was actually said rather than what you think was said. Hamilton stated that “we need to make sure we get non-biased stewards” and I can’t see who could disagree with that.

  2. I was uncomfortable about the colours the other day, so glad they’ve done this. What is happening is beyond belief, and apparently the work of just one “madman”. I am so sad for the deaths that have happened and those that will come. This is 2022, and shouldn’t be happening in the modern world.

    Step up to the plate F1, and cancel the Russian GP until further notice and do this quickly. Putin on the podium now grates even more.

    1. As an American company the HAAS machine tool business will no doubt be required to sever the Russian connection immediately. The Uralkali logo and branding has already been removed from much of the HAAS website. presumably the other sponsors and partners are voicing their opinion on the livery.

      I have some sympathy for Nkita Mazepin who is in this case an innocent bystander despite Mazepin senior’s connection to Putin.

      Could Pietro Fittipaldi be a replacement for him with associated replacement sponsorship?

  3. Whatever the cause of the decision by Haas — an instruction from Uralkali, a missing payment, or respect for human rights and decency — the change in branding and livery saves both the team and all of Formula One a source of shame. Meanwhile, bravo to Sebastian Vettel for forthrightness.

    1. Indeed, VET has come a long way from being the obnoxious (but brilliant) little brat who’s finger I wanted to rip off and… !!

  4. Hi Joe, are soon sponsorship payments received on a periodic basis by a team, or are they front end or back end loaded?

    1. After the Rich Energy debacle, I imagine Haas are pretty good at getting money up front now, though with a driver in the car its always easier with “No money, no seat”

        1. What is Gene Haas’s net worth these days? I’d assumed he wouldn’t be too bothered about having Haas have to pay for a season or so if he had to, but having thought it was in the billions, a brief/crude online search and thought the numbers were quite low.

  5. Clearly big implications for HAAS. US owned team whose main sponsor is a Russian oligarch owned company. I can see the US govt banning any US company from associations with Russian entities, let alone one who is close to Putin. We live in sad and tragic times and the pandemic seemed to emphasise this as well.

  6. Mr. Saward should Mr. Mazepin be unable to drive the Haas entry would any FIA regulations prevent Colton Herta from taking the seat should Andretti and Haas so desire same?

  7. Mazepin is persona non grata, Sochi will be cancelled and Haas will run out of money again.

    Let’s hope Andretti can perform this time.

  8. Hi Joe,
    Are there any noises on who could replace Nikita Mazepin if the situation with sponsorship goes south? How likely is it that they would go for Nico Hulkenberg as an experienced hand to get up to speed fast? Is he still linked to Aston Martin as a reserve?

  9. The wipe of Uralkali branding wouldn’t have to do with economic sanctions to Russia by Western countries this troubling time?

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