Haas finally fires up 2021 F1 car ahead of Bahrain testing

The Haas Formula 1 team has finally been able to fire-up the Ferrari engine in its new 2021 car on Wednesday, ahead of pre-season testing in Bahrain.

Haas finally fires up 2021 F1 car ahead of Bahrain testing
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Usually teams run the engines in their new cars in the factory at the first possible opportunity in order to check their systems ahead of a first shakedown run.

However Haas was not able to start the power unit at its Banbury base as the Ferrari engineers required for the job were not able to travel to the UK.

They would have had to go into quarantine on arrival and again on their return to Italy, and that was not considered practical.

For the same reason the team did not conduct a filming day or shakedown in the UK, and instead will give the car its first laps when official pre-season testing gets underway in Bahrain on Friday morning.

Team boss Guenther Steiner revealed last month that the fire-up would be postponed to Sakhir while also insisting that it wasn’t a major concern, as so much of the car has been carried over from 2021 – although the power unit itself has undergone major changes.

“The fire-up will be in Bahrain,” Steiner told Motorsport.com. “With all the flyaway races anyway the engines go back to Maranello, and then they come back to the race track, and go straight into the car. So it's not anything new.

“But it's not ideal, because even if it is a carry over car, there's still some new parts. You want to do as much at home as you can.

“If you cannot, then you need to find ways, but I think we will be all right. As long as it sounds good when we fire it up the first time, it's not a problem!”

The team tweeted a video today that suggested the fire-up went to plan.

Haas was not the only team impacted by UK travel restrictions. Renault engineers who travelled from France for Alpine’s first fire-up and subsequent shakedown at Silverstone were obliged to quarantine first.

Honda’s British-based AlphaTauri engineers flew to Italy in early January for a test with Yuki Tsunoda in an old Toro Rosso, and then remained on site for several weeks so that they could take care of the ATR02 factory fire up and filming day at Imola in late February.

 

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