Haas F1’s new Russian flag livery design is being investigated by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Nikita Mazepin was forced to contest Formula 1 under the neutral flag this season, as the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) extended its ruling to the sport. Russian participants in Formula 1 will henceforth be prohibited from wearing Russian emblems, flags, or the nation’s name on their race suit. This means that F1’s sole Russian driver this year, Nikita Mazepin, will not represent his country.
The following month, Haas F1 released their 2021 challenger, the VF-21, which sported a white, red and blue colour scheme. However, the design wore the Russian flag, sparking controversy amongst the Formula 1 community. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) therefore decided to look into Haas’ choice of livery. This is despite the American team’s claims that the design was not an attempt to evade the ban.
“WADA is aware of this matter and is looking into it with the relevant authorities,” a spokesperson from the WADA told Motorsport.com.
Haas team principal Gunther Steiner said: “Obviously we cannot use the Russian flag as the Russian flag, but you can use colors on a car. In the end, it’s the athlete which cannot display the Russian flag and not the team. The team is an American team.”