Guenther Steiner insists Haas not desperate to replace Nikita Mazepin sponsor

Haas removed Uralkali as a sponsor at the beginning of the year amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has reassured that the team are not desperate to find new sponsors after their relationship with Uralkali ended ahead of the current season.

Nikita Mazepin was signed by Haas last year after winning two Formula 2 races with Hitech, but he endured a miserable season as he was comprehensively out-performed by team-mate Mick Schumacher.

It looked as though the 2021 rookies would be partnering each other again this season, but Russian president Vladimir Putin decided to start a war on Ukraine, so Russian sponsors were banned by the FIA.

This made it impossible for Haas to continue to have a relationship with Uralkali, so they terminated their contract with Dmitry Mazepin’s potash firm, meaning that Nikita was dismissed as well.

READ: Haas boss refuses to give Mick Schumacher special treatment as he fires jibe at Nikita Mazepin

In the end, the partnership with Uralkali turned into another nightmare for Haas after their relationship with Rich Energy went sour in 2019.

William Storey signed a contract to invest money into Gene Haas’ team that year, but his expectations of the American side’s performance were not met as they slumped to ninth in the Constructors’ Standings.

Storey ended up in a legal battle with Whyte Bikes after his brand was accused of stealing their logo, and it transpired that none of the pledged money had been paid by Rich Energy into Haas’ accounts, so that partnership ended just after the midway point of the year.

That came after Rich Energy had bizarrely tweeted out – falsely – that they had terminated the agreement, so Haas will likely be cautious before jumping into another partnership.

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It is a good job then, that they do not really need to jump into anything right now.

“I would say the chances are average,” said Steiner as to whether or not a new sponsor will be required, quoted by

“We may have a new sponsor, but this is not at all necessary, we are focused on finding a title sponsor with whom we can cooperate in the medium and long term.

“We do not need to resolve this issue immediately, this is simply not required.”

Unlike with Rich Energy, the Italian recalls that he enjoyed a healthy relationship with Uralkali before the parties were forced to split.

“That remark is true only of Mr Storey,” explained Steiner.

“We really got burned with that and it was a lesson for us. But the situation with Uralkali is quite different.

READ: ‘Normally it’s Toto fighting everybody’: Guenther Steiner disagrees with Wolff after key FIA decision

“I never expected that something like this could happen and that events would develop as they did, from a financial point of view, Uralkali was a very reliable and solid partner.”

Haas’ new pairing of Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher are currently eighth in the Constructors’ Championship on 34 points, their biggest tally since 2018 when they finished fifth on 93 points.

*Hi James, could you put your name on this one as well please? 🙂