Haas F1 Team VF-21, Mick Schumacher – (110210147):
The Haas VF-21 is a Formula One car designed and assembled by Haas, and was made to compete in the 2021 Formula One World Championship. Haas’ two drivers were Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher, both of whom were competing in their maiden season.
It’s powered by the 2021 Ferrari power unit, their 065/6, which is a turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 capable of 15,000 rpm. The VF-21’s chassis was almost identical to the chassis of its predecessor, the VF-20, except for a few small changes regarding downforce cuts. 2021 regulations mandated said cuts, and so adjustments were required. Haas did however introduce an upgrade package for the chassis at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but that turned out to be their only change in 2021. Haas, therefore, was the only constructor not to make any significant changes to its 2020 vehicle. The VF-21 is quite simply a modified VF-20.
What was a key controversial point was the car’s livery. It appeared to feature the Russian flag in multiple places, most notably behind the driver and the front wings. It was certainly a move away from what Haas has traditionally done. It was done in recognition of their new sponsor, Uralkali. They’re the world’s largest potash fertiliser producer and is headed up by Dmitry Mazepin, who is the father of Haas’ driver Nikita Mazepin.
The team owner Gene Haas said, “I’m very pleased to welcome Uralkali to Formula One as a title partner to Haas F1… we look forward to representing the brand throughout the season. It’s definitely a case of all change but I’m hoping that we get back to being in the mix for scoring some points at these races… it’s been a tough couple of seasons, but we’ve got our eye on the bigger picture coming up to 2022.”
The VF-21 therefore is a symbol of Haas’ ‘rebirth’ so to speak. Their hunger for structure and eventual success. Perhaps not the most flamboyant or dazzling looking F1 car, but the livery sends a much deeper message.