Haas ‘wouldn’t be here’ without Mazepin’s money

Michelle Foster
Guenther Steiner standing next to Nikita Mazepin. Bahrain March 2021

Guenther Steiner standing next to NIkita Mazepin at the Haas car launch, both serious. Bahrain March 2021

Fresh from confirming Nikita Mazepin for a second season, Guenther Steiner admits Haas would “not be here today” were it not for Dmitry Mazepin’s investment.

Mazepin booked a place for his son, Nikita, on this year’s Formula 1 grid by investing heavily in the Haas F1 team through his Uralkali firm.

The Russian billionaire is said to have paid tens of millions for his son’s F1 seat.

Millions that if Haas had not received could have potentially signalled the end of the team.

“I had to find several opportunities to allow the team to move forward because the future of many families depended,” team boss Guenther Steiner explained to Danish publication Ekstra Bladet.

“Sometimes you are forced to make decisions, even if you don’t like them at all. As a result, it was a choice tied solely to economic reasons. There was no anger or dissatisfaction.

“The alternative was that we wouldn’t be here today, and that’s something people need to understand.”

He hopes that in time, his rookies, officially confirmed for 2022, will be able to assist Haas in their bid to return to F1’s midfield.

“We struggled a lot last year and did not know at all if we would exist now,” he added. “The solution was to take two young drivers.

“When we decided to stay in Formula 1, the thinking all the time was that we should get ready again.

“We will hopefully be next year – including with the drivers – at the same level as our old drivers were at some seasons ago.”

With Mick Schumacher joining Mazepin at Haas this season in an all-rookie line up, it meant the end for Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.

Both drivers have landed elsewhere, with Grosjean bagging podiums in IndyCar while Magnussen is racing in the IMSA SportsCar Championship.

Asking for forgiveness from the Danish public, Steiner continued: “People need to understand it would not have kept Kevin in the seat. If we had kept Kevin but Haas stayed put, Kevin would not have had anything to run into.


“It can be difficult for people who do not move here to understand. They may think we could have found another solution but they are not easy to find. Even in Denmark I do not think money grows on trees…

“I had to keep the team alive and could not just believe it all got better. Because if it did not get better, Kevin would have had a contract but no car. What would that help?

“With him, 300 other people [would have] lost their jobs. This was on the table and I had to take a step back to be able to take two forward. So Danes should not be angry with me anymore.”