Pandemic prevents Haas firing up its new VF-21 until Bahrain test
Haas will have to wait until Formula One starts preseason testing on March 12 to fire up their new car for the first time due to Covid-19 restrictions, team boss Guenther Steiner said on Thursday.
The US-owned-team have their European base in England but require Ferrari engineers to fly in from Italy to start the engine.
“We built the car in the UK but we couldn't fire it up because if we get the Ferrari engineers, which you need to fire the car up, they need to quarantine on both sides,” Steiner told reporters as the team presented the new VF-21.
“It's just not possible. So we will fire the car up in Bahrain when it gets there. It's completely built and everything. You do everything you can but you cannot actually fire it up.”
Teams have only three days of testing this year to check all systems before the first race in Bahrain on March 28, half the amount of last year.
Steiner, an Italian, said he had not left the US over the winter as a result of the travel restrictions.
New driver Mick Schumacher, son of seven-times world champion Michael, told reporters he had set aside 10 days for self-isolation to visit the factory in Banbury for a day-and-a-half's seat fitting.
Non-essential travel is banned to and from England, with arrivals subject to a 10-day quarantine requirement.