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Russian is the sponsor’s son: Haas could throw out Schumacher colleagues

Russe is the son of the sponsor
Haas could throw out Schumacher colleagues

The Haas Formula 1 racing team has already removed the logo of the Russian title sponsor from its car. But the Russian attack on Ukraine could have wider consequences for Mick Schumacher’s team. He may lose his teammate.

Formula 1 will not hold the Russian Grand Prix this year after the Russian attack on Ukraine. Mick Schumacher’s Haas team, co-financed from Russia, could even turn away from its main Russian sponsor Uralkali and also end cooperation with the second driver Nikita Mazepin.

“We have to clarify all the legal issues, which I can only talk about next week,” said Haas team boss Günther Steiner on the sidelines of the test drives in Barcelona. In general, he is certain: “A solution must be found.” A first sign is set. The sponsor logo of Russian mining company Uralkali was removed for the third and final day of testing. “As a team, we made the right decision at that moment, also to send a signal to everyone,” explained Steiner, referring to the discussions with the other team partners. Cars, team trucks and the motorhome were quickly repainted.

“Financially we are okay”

Haas examines legal exit strategies. Against the background of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, can there be a future with donor Uralkali, where Nikita Mazepin’s father Dmitri is the majority owner? And what about the future of the 22-year-old as Schumacher’s stable rival? “Hopefully he can keep his head up,” Steiner said of his second pilot.

He did not want and could not give the Russian, who is known for his slips on and off the track, a job guarantee. “That has to be solved,” Steiner said simply: “Not everything depends on us. Governments are involved.” In addition to the open legal issue with Uralkali, Mazepin could also have problems entering certain countries. The calculation should look like this: If the largest mineral fertilizer manufacturer in Russia has no future at Haas, there will be no future for the 22-year-old Mazepin either.

Nikita Mazepin spoke on social media of a difficult time “and I have no control over a lot of what is said and done. I focus on what I can control”. It’s hard work and the Haas Formula 1 team.

Haas is in a special area of ​​tension – also because it is a US team. According to Steiner, owner Gene Haas is behind the decision to remove the Uralkali lettering from the car. There was no pressure from the US government to end cooperation with Uralkali or Dmitri Mazepin. “We weren’t in contact with the government at all,” Steiner explained.

Steiner does not currently see the economic effects of sanctions against Russia for Haas. “Financially we’re okay,” he said. “There’s no problem.”

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