Haas have ‘other resources’ should they lose Uralkali

Michelle Foster
Guenther Steiner talks to the media in testing. Barcelona February 2022

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner talks to the media in testing. Barcelona February 2022

Having dropped the Uralkali sponsorship from the VF-22 on the final day of the Barcelona test, Guenther Steiner admits there is a “risk” of Haas losing its principle sponsor.

Uralkali became Haas’ title sponsor last season, the Russian fertilizer company signing a multi-year deal with the American Formula 1 team.

It was a deal that guaranteed Nikita Mazepin, the son of Uralkali owner Dmitry Mazepin, a Formula 1 race seat.

Both the deal and the Russian driver’s seat are now on the line as sanctions are being applied against Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Haas were quick to react, removing the Uralkali branding from their car on the final day of the Barcelona pre-season shakedown with Steiner revealing it won’t be back for Bahrain.

The team boss told Sky Italia: “We informed them about what we did and why we did it. For us that was the best thing to do with the current situation in Ukraine.

“We have other resources, we go on as we planned at the beginning of the year. We took off some stickers, that’s what we did here for these tests.

“Then this week the talks will go on but at the moment for sure we will not put on the car our main sponsor in Bahrain.”

About if they risk losing their main sponsor permanently, he replied: “For sure there is the risk but I can’t go into details because it’s a legal thing that I cannot make public obviously.”

Haas bosses will meet this week to discuss the situation but it may be out of the team’s hands.

The International Olympic Committee has recommended that all International Sports Federations, of which the FIA is one, and sports event organisers “not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions”.

And while Mazepin’s place on the grid was already under threat should Haas lose the Uralkali sponsorship that pays for his drive, that the IOC doesn’t want Russian athletes involved in international sporting events makes his place on the grid even more uncertain.

Steiner admits Mazepin could be out.

“The risk is always present with the current situation,” he said. “There’s also the risk that we can’t control if he can enter certain places.

“But he drove during this last tests and he will drive in Bahrain.


“If everything plays out as it should, we will also see how the situation develops in Ukraine. Let’s hope it will end.”

Additional reporting from Luca Brambilla


PlanetF1 Verdict


Haas could survive without Uralkali

Guenther Steiner believes that Haas will survive if Uralkali is removed.