RACE DEBRIEF

    Haas have officially unveiled their 2021 VF-21 challenger that will be driven this season by Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher, on the day that pre-season testing gets under way at the Bahrain International Circuit.

    Haas’ all-rookie line-up of Mazepin and reigning F2 champion Schumacher were on hand in the Bahrain pit lane to show off the new car ahead of the first day of testing – although the VF-21 had already broken cover a day earlier when Mazepin gave the machine its first shakedown run at the Bahrain International Circuit, with the team having not been able to fire up the car at all until they arrived in Bahrain due to travel restrictions.

    READ MORE: First glimpse of new Haas as the VF-21 hits the track for shakedown run in Bahrain

    Haas will be hoping that the VF-21 helps them return to the sharper end of the grid in 2021, following the worst season of their five-year existence last year, when drivers Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen and Pietro Fittipaldi scored a mere three points between them.

    A big factor in whether Mazepin and Schumacher can challenge for more points for the team this season will be the performance of Ferrari’s new power unit, which will also see action in rivals Alfa Romeo’s C41 – as well as Ferrari’s own SF21 of course – while Haas have already confirmed that they won’t be developing the VF-21 throughout the year, as their design team’s focus switches to 2022.

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    Following the unveiling, Mick Schumacher was set to be the first of the duo on track at pre-season testing in the VF-21, with Mazepin due to take over for the afternoon session.