On 4 February the newly rebranded Uralkali Haas F1 Team, launched their challenger for the 2021 season – the VF-21. With the American team undergoing wide-scale changes ahead of their sixth season in the sport, they’ll be hoping for a change of fortunes compared to the last two year’s, which have been poor compared to the team’s first three in the sport.
Echoing Gene Haas, the longstanding Team Principal for the Haas Formula 1 Team – Guenther Steiner, is very pleased to have acquired a new title sponsor in Uralkali, and will no doubt be hoping that this relationship is more successful than the last time the team had a title sponsor. The afore mentioned wide-scale changes made by the team, mark the beginning of a new chapter for the outfit, one which Steiner is looking forward to.
“I happily echo Mr. Haas’s comments, we are pleased to be partnered by Uralkali this season and beyond, we approach a new season with a new title partner and two new drivers, it’s going to be an exciting year head – hopefully exciting only in a good way though.”
The two new drivers, are both rookies so the team will face a year of learning and challenges, knowing this the team will be focusing their development hours on the up and coming 2022 regulation changes, which the American team hope will even out the field. Even though he may have inexperience behind the wheel of his cars, Steiner is still expecting the drivers to capitalise on as many points finishes as possible when the opportunities to do so present themselves.
“We face a year of learning with the drivers while technically we look ahead to the future. It’s no secret that the VF-21 will not be developed as we focus our energies now on the 2022 car and, what we hope, will be a more level-playing field. We all know roughly where we expect to be this season in terms of the competition, but we must ensure we’re there to capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves.”
With the new tyres being brought in for 2021 and having two rookie drivers, getting in as many miles as possible and making the most of these miles is crucial for Haas, perhaps even more so than others. The learning curve will no doubt be a steep one but Steiner is looking forward to personally overseeing the development of the two drivers.
“But first we have to get the guys dialed in at testing. Time behind the wheel is short – so it’ll be a steep curve, but I’m personally looking forward to seeing their development as drivers and as team members within Uralkali Haas F1 Team.”
Fans of Haas do not have to wait long before the VF-21 will be finally seen in a physical form and when fans get a first glimpse of the two drivers behind the wheel with the pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit commencing on the 12 March which precedes the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.