Haas unable to fire up engine until Bahrain

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With restrictions preventing Ferrari technicians from travelling, Haas won’t be able to start their car until the Bahrain tests.

The American team is currently hard at work building the 2021 challenger in their UK base in Banbury, where they opted to carry out their pre-season operations so they didn’t have to transport parts from the 2020 car to Italy.

However, that has caused issues, as travel restrictions put in place because of COVID-19 are preventing Ferrari staff from heading to Haas HQ and firing up the engine.

“The parts of the new car are almost ready,” Auto Motor Und Sport said.

“Assembly begins in the first week of February. The VF-21 should be on its wheels in mid-February. Not a dummy, but a ready-made car with an engine and transmission.

“But the new Ferrari V6 turbo in the rear of the US racer will remain silent. The engine is allowed into the country, but the technicians you need to start it are not. As things stand at the moment, the earliest possible time to bring the engine to life is the test in Bahrain.”

The Ferrari technicians are not the only one unable to travel there, with team principal Guenther Steiner currently stuck in the US.

“If I wanted to fly to England, I would first have to be in quarantine for two weeks. There are only exceptions for athletes,” the Italian told the German site.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner during pre-season testing

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With car development for 2021 being largely frozen in response to the pandemic, the pecking order of the grid isn’t expected to change a huge amount.

Because of this, Steiner and Haas have taken the decision to do little work on the upcoming season’s car and are instead focusing more on 2022.

“We could have built a new nose, but we were too late,” he said.

“The wind tunnel program had been shut down too long for us to have the nose ready before the deadline at the end of September.

“But it can happen that we have to improve the 2021 car again if we discover during the test drives that we have made a mistake. That would be plan B.

“Actually, we don’t want to use any more wind tunnel time for the 2021 car. We hope that things will be as close in the front midfield as in 2020 and that the teams involved will continue to develop and leave time for the 2022 car.”

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