The Haas F1 Team has announced that Uralkali, which is owned by Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin, will be their title sponsor this upcoming season and beyond.
The American racing outfit made the announcement as it unveiled its 2021 livery, which features the colours of the Russian flag and includes several prominent Uralkali logos.
Dmitry’s son, Nikita Mazepin, inked a multi-year deal with Haas in December and it was widely speculated that his father’s company had agreed to provide the team with tens of millions of dollars per season as part of the move.
Haas’ 2021 challenger, the VF-21, will have its initial shakedown during pre-season testing on 12 March in Bahrain.
Team owner Gene Haas said he is “very pleased” to announce Uralkali, one of the world’s largest potash fertiliser producers, as the title partner of the Haas F1 Team.
Continuing, he said: “We look forward to representing their brand throughout the season. It’s an exciting time for the team with Uralkali coming onboard and having Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher driving for us.
“It’s definitely a case of all change but I’m hoping that we get back to being in the mix for scoring some points at these races.
“It’s been a tough couple of seasons, but we’ve also got our eye on the bigger picture, in particular 2022 and the implementation of the new regulations.”
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner, for his part, said their partnership with Uralkali will last beyond the 2021 season (they have most likely agreed a two-year deal, the same length of Mazepin’s contract) and commented on the upcoming season.
“We approach a new season with a new title partner and two new drivers, it’s going to be an exciting year ahead – hopefully exciting only in a good way though,” Steiner said.
“We face a year of learning with the drivers while technically we look ahead to the future. It’s no secret that the VF-21 will not be developed as we focus our energies now on the 2022 car and, what we hope, will be a more level-playing field.
“We all know roughly where we expect to be this season in terms of the competition, but we must ensure we’re there to capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves. But first we have to get the guys dialed in at testing.
“Time behind the wheel is short – so it’ll be a steep curve, but I’m personally looking forward to seeing their development as drivers and as team members within Uralkali Haas F1 Team,” he concluded.