As Russia invades Ukraine, the F1 world has been boycotting Russian companies. Not only has the Haas team removed its main sponsor, the Russian company Uralkali, but F1 has cancelled the Russian Grand Prix altogether. Now, it looks as though Russian driver and son of the board chairman of Uralkali Nikita Mazepin could be in trouble as his seat is called into question.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has admitted that Mazepin’s place in the team “needs to be resolved”, as they assess the options given to them by stakeholders, including the Government’s influence on the team. He told the press:
“Not everything depends on us here. There are governments involved, and I have no power over them. And I think we need to see also the situation, how it develops in Ukraine.”
Steiner reveals that there will be talks about the racer’s future over the next few weeks, as well as any legal issues with the Uralkali sponsorship.
“I am not going to do it today. We made the decision yesterday with our team partners that [removing the Uralkali branding] is what we’re going to do,” he continued.
The issue won’t be resolved overnight, with Steiner stating that discussions will take place next week to look into Mazepin’s seat and any potential legal issues with Uralkali’s sponsorship.
“I am not going to do it today. We made the decision yesterday with our team partners that [removing the Uralkali branding] is what we’re going to do,” he added.
Mazepin’s place on the team has been criticised highly by fans, and even Jeremy Clarkson, The Grand Tour presenter and motoring journalist has revealed that he wants him to be removed from the sport entirely.
The question is, how will this affect Haas’ future in F1 without the huge input of funding from its main sponsor, and who could replace Mazepin? We’re hoping these answers will be coming soon…