On track Haas has been having a strong season so far with two top-ten finishes including a fifth-place finish by Kevin Magnussen. However, the season started off rocky for the American-based team when they had to drop one of their main sponsors Uralkali. The Russian company which is owned by Dimitri Mazepin has ties to President Vladimir Putin and therefore was dropped by Haas amid the ongoing turmoil between Russia and Ukraine.
The Haas team is no stranger to dealing with drama and conflict with its sponsors. In 2019 the team encountered major issues with the Rich Energy company which only lasted a total of 14 races with them before they parted ways.
However, the conflict between Uralkali and Haas appears far from over. While the potash fertilizer company requested that Haas reimburse them $13 million for funds after their contract ended, the F1 team denied their demand. Now Haas is currently seeking $8.6m from Urakali for loss of profits.
Although Team Principal at Haas, Günther Steiner did not directly speak on behalf of the ongoing issues with Uralkali due to confidentiality concerns, he did discuss the team’s future plans with media last week.
“There is a lot of movement, but we don't want to jump immediately onto the next one,” Steiner said.
“We want to take our time, do our due diligence, make a good decision. We are in a safe place at the moment”
“There’s no point to rush anything that we maybe regret in six months’ time.”
The Italian-American revealed that the team is holding out for the best package and reiterated the importance of not rushing into a binding contract with a new company too soon.
“We are waiting for the best package, it’s a combination of things,” Steiner said.
“It’s the best offer, the best sponsor, and just not doing something [where you] maybe take a deal today that you find out in six months you shouldn’t have done that.
“Sometimes it’s a trap of you need to do it in two weeks to get ready and all that. It’s sometimes better to sit back and say let’s talk with these people correctly. Because if somebody is still waiting, they can wait three or six months. It’s not a rush.
Steiner also stressed that time is on their side when it comes to finding the right sponsor to fit in perfectly with the team.
“If the deal we think is not good enough going forward, we don’t have to do a deal this year. It’s not a must. We announced again a smaller sponsor today” He said.
“There is stuff coming in, but it has to be right."