WADA looking into Haas F1 livery

Haas FI team leader Gunther Steiner is confident they can retain Russian flag colours on their car.
Haas FI team leader Gunther Steiner is confident they can retain Russian flag colours on their car.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is looking into the livery of the new Formula One car revealed by Haas this week that featured the red, white and blue colours of the Russian flag.

"WADA is aware of this matter and is looking into it with the relevant authorities," a spokesperson from WADA told Autosport magazine on Friday.

The colours reflect the team's new main sponsor Uralkali, a Russian fertiliser company part-owned by Dmitry Mazepin, father of the team's new driver Nikita Mazepin.

The livery has raised questions about its compliance with a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which decided in December 2020 Russian athletes were banned from competing as a nation with their symbols such as anthem and flag at major events such as world championships and Olympics over two years.

The ban is related to state-sponsored doping and cover-ups in Russia. WADA had recommended a four-year ban in its initial ruling.

The Russian automobile federation said in February that the ruling would also apply to international ruling body FIA's competitions, meaning Mazepin can't race under the Russian flag.

Mazepin is also not allowed to use national emblems, flags or symbols, as well as the word "Russia" or "Russian", on his clothing or equipment.

"The team has clarified the livery with the FIA - the CAS decision does not prohibit the use of the colours of the Russian flag," FIA told Autosport.

Haas team principal Gunther Steiner added: "Obviously we cannot use the Russian flag as the Russian flag, but you can use colours on a car."

F1 preseason testing is on March 12-14 in Bahrain, where the season-opening race takes place on March 28, after the Australian race scheduled a week earlier was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Australian Associated Press