Breaking – Haas drops Uralkali logos for f1 test finale
The Formula 1 team is immediately removing the Russian main sponsor Uralkali from the car.
The Haas Formula 1 team will run a plain white livery during Friday’s pre-season test day in Barcelona.
Uralkali, the Russian potash fertiliser company which is the title sponsor of the American-owened squad, will also have its branding stripped from the VF-22 car for the final day of running at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The announcement comes after Russia initiated an invasion on Ukraine on Thursday.
Sanctions have been placed on Russia from nations around the globe, with many world leaders condemning the invasion.
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Uralkali is owned by Russian businessman Dmitry Mazepin, with his son Nikita racing for Haas since 2021.
Mazepin’s media session on Thursday was cancelled, as was the conference with Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner.
Haas has confirmed that Mazepin will still drive as normal on Friday, as he shares testing duties with Mick Schumacher.
The 2022 Russian Grand Prix is also in doubt, with teams set to meet with F1’s CEO Stefano Domenicali this evening to discuss concerns. The race is due to be held in September.
The crisis in Ukraine could have another consequence in F1’s world though, as the Haas team’s primary sponsor is Russian company Uralkali – part-owned by the father of Haas driver Nikita Mazepin.
In the wake of the Russian invasion, Haas also cancelled Thursday’s planned media engagement for team boss Guenther Steiner and Mazepin.
Haas announced in the evening that it will run its VF-22 in a plan white livery minus Uralkali branding for the final day of testing on Friday.
Its livery utilises the colours of the Russian flag.
The team says “no further comment will be made at this time regarding team partner agreements”.
As part of the sanctions due to be imposed on Russia in response to Putin’s actions, all Russian banks have had their assets frozen and while some payments can be made from Russia to UK they will be limited.
There is also potential to cut Russia out completely from Swift payments.
It has been speculated that these sanctions could impact Haas receiving funding from Uralkali.
The exact mechanics of this depend on the Haas team’s exact financial arrangements as while Gene Haas’s primary company is American and the F1 team has a base in the US, its main operations are in the UK where it has a registered business.
Mazepin will drive in the morning session of the final day as planned, before Mick Schumacher takes over in the afternoon.
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