Nikita Mazepin will receive a new chassis after complaints from his father, Dmitry Mazepin, who through Uralkali, a major sponsor, demanded a new chassis, even offering financial support for the same to provide a level playing field with his team-mate.
It was alleged that the chassis used for Mazepin’s car is heaving than his teammate Mick Schumacher’s car, a claim Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner has addressed.
“We carried all the chassis over from last year, just to clarify that,” Steiner explained. “Like a lot of other teams did – because of the freezing of the car, the car is not a complete new build.
“One of the chassis is a little bit heavier,” he admitted. “But not in all circumstances, just when we need a certain weight balance so it ends up a little bit heavier. It’s marginal, but it is heavier.”
He has also said that Mazepin is very likely to continue using his current chassis till the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, at which point the plan is to have a new chassis for the Russian. “The plan is to have a new chassis for Belgium for him,” Steiner commented.
Steiner has also explained that the weight disparity is also due to repair works and that the chassis was already originally heavier when manufactured. However, he took the opportunity to deny any favoritism and has stated both drivers have used said chassis.
“We swapped the chassis around quite a bit and we always did,” Steiner admitted. “I don’t exactly know who has driven which chassis when and where but I think both drivers have driven all of our chassis.”
A new chassis means a chink in Haas’ already limited budget, in a difficult season with zero points so far. Despite Uralkali’s funding, it is unclear how Haas will survive financially.