The Haas Formula 1 team denies that it has opted for a 'Russian' appearance because driver Nikita Mazepin is prohibited from racing under the Russian flag.

The American racing team surprised on Thursday by presenting a car in the Russian colors.

"No, we have not circumvented anything with this", Haas team principal Günther Steiner told

Motorsport.com,

among others

.

"Before WADA came up with the verdict, we had already made this livery."

"We know that it is illegal to use the Russian flag, but it is not illegal to use the same colors on our car. Ultimately, it is the athlete who is not allowed to display the Russian flag and the ruling has no effect on the team. "said Steiner, who once again emphasized that Haas is an American racing team.

More than a year ago, Russia was suspended for four years by anti-doping agency WADA for large-scale doping fraud.

The Russians appealed through their own RUSADA, after which the sentence was reduced to two years.

Russian athletes are allowed to continue to practice their sport, but must do so under a neutral flag.

Haas surprised Thursday by presenting a car in the Russian colors.

Haas surprised Thursday by presenting a car in the Russian colors.

Photo: Haas F1

Haas chose Russian appearance because of title sponsor

Haas chose the Russian look because of title sponsor Ualkali, the company of Mazepin's very wealthy father.

The racing stable deviates from its own colors for the first time in years.

In addition to Mazepin, Mick Schumacher, the son of Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher, will also come into action for Haas.

The driver duo replaces Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean.

The new Formula 1 season starts on Friday, March 12 with the first of three test days in Bahrain.

Two weeks later, the first Grand Prix is ​​scheduled at the Bahrain International Circuit.

See also: This is what the Formula 1 cars of 2021 will look like