Haas prepared to withstand loss of Uralkali income – Steiner

2022 F1 season

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Haas can withstand the loss of income if its ties with title sponsor Uralkali are severed, according to team principal Guenther Steiner.

The Russian fertiliser producer’s branding was removed from the team’s cars and facilities on the final day of last week’s test at the Circuit de Catalunya. The associated colour scheme which matched the flag of Russia was also removed following the country’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday.

Steiner said the disruption would not affect the team’s ability to compete in Formula 1 this year. “It is a headache, because it’s work, but it’s not something which disturbs the team on the competition side,” he explained.

“Financially we are okay. It has no [implication] on the team, how we are running it or how we’re doing, how we planned this season. There are more ways to get the funding so that there’s no issue with that one.”

The team said it will decide in the coming weeks whether it will continue its association with Uralkali. However it has continued to remove the company’s logos from its public presences, including its website.

Following the invasion, Russian individuals and businesses have been hit with a series of sanctions by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom and other countries. Yesterday a group of Russian banks were removed from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) messaging system which handles payments, preventing many businesses in the country from conducting foreign transactions.

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Speaking on Friday, Steiner said it was not clear whether the disruption to the SWIFT system would have consequences for Haas. “Up to now the official sanctions from any of the governments have no influence on our business,” he said. “I would need to check with my finance department about if SWIFT is switched off how that works because Uralkali is a global company. I don’t really know how that would work out.”

Haas joined his team in Spain
The team agreed its deal with Uralkali at the end of 2020 after running into financial trouble during the Covid-19 pandemic. Steiner admitted the latest setback had been unforeseen but is certain it won’t harm the team’s competitiveness this year.

“We haven’t been planning for this. Obviously we monitor the situations, we are not sitting there ignorantly until something happens. But when it happens you need to see how it develops.

“I’ve never experienced something like this, so I didn’t know how this would go down. But I think we just manage it in the same way going forward.”

“The team out on the race track, they are not affected by this,” he added. “I spoke with them yesterday and told them there’s nothing to worry for them, everything is fine, this is a bump in the road which we didn’t expect and nobody expected. Nobody wants it, you know?

“I think as a team, we took the right decision in this moment in time to send a message as well to everybody. We are behind the team, the team is behind us, what we are doing.”

Team owner Gene Haas visited last week’s test in Spain. Steiner says he “stands behind the decision” to remove the Uralkali branding from their team.

“There is no issue with that one with him. He stands behind the position, he owns the team so knows what we are doing and knew what we are doing and he supports it.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Haas prepared to withstand loss of Uralkali income – Steiner”

  1. Get in line with most everyone else and do the right thing NOW, not in the coming weeks.

    1. That’s easy to say when it’s his money on the line. I’m sure they want to and probably will when they find a way to get out of the contract (and find a replacement, otherwise that team is done).

    2. They’re probably taking their time to do this as clean as possible. Losing a major sponsor will be a big hit, and I’d imagine they can’t afford to make it worse by giving Uralkali a reason for legal action down the line.

      They’ve pretty much signalled their intentions by taking all the branding off the team. They’ll want to be legally in the clear before making any formal decisions.

      1. There are usually clauses in contracts for sponsors to drop out if the team brings their brand into disrepute. The one that comes to mind is ING prematurely ending its Renault sponsorship after crashgate. Does it not usually work the other way?

  2. “Never experienced a problem like this ”
    It seems he already forgot fake energy with Richard storieboard.

  3. What about Kaspersky’s sponsorship of Ferrari?

    1. Indeed.

    2. What is the root of the hatred for everything Russian, it just doesn’t make sense to me. Are we saying all Russians are bad people or have we been watching too much advertising.

      1. Usual simplistic view from you – there is no hatred for all things Russian, (aside from the usual extreme comments I guess) and I dont know of anyone blaming the Russian people for the actions of their nutjob president. There is a real need for the Haas team to plan for the possibility that sanctions against their main sponsor may be part of the response to the cowardly invasion of Ukraine though. I dont hate Russia, but I have a different opinion on the leader. I dont blame the people – I blame their leader.

      2. What is the root of hatred? Turn on the news. I’m not sure it’s hatred towards the average Russian citizens but more of trying to take a stand like the rest of the world. Doesn’t matter if it’s Russian vodka or an oligarchs son, get it off the shelves and get him out of that seat until they understand invading a democracy should never happen….he just put his nukes on high alert by the way.

      3. We’re just coming out of a pandemic and now this. And you wonder where the root of the hatred is?

      4. It isn’t a hate of Russia or Russians.
        It is a reaction to an unprovoked act of war.

      5. My question has nothing to do with how people feel about Russians, it’s about another Russian company sponsoring another F1 team. If the economic sanctions being imposed affect Haas and Uralkali, aren’t they likely to also affect Ferrari and Kaspersky?
        Not that the Kaspersky logo is very prominent on the Ferrari — it’s on the first element of the front wing, but all but top-down pics don’t show the logo!

  4. The embargos and sanctions mean they have not much choice in the matter. It is only a matter of time before Uralkali will have 0 economical ability in Europe and USA. I am glad they are prepared to absorb the cost and find another solution.

  5. In the meantime, not only is Aston Martin going forward with Aramco sponsorship, but the whole F1 is sponsored by Aramco, while Yemen is experiencing an absolute apocalypse, order of magnitudes greater than anything happening in Ukraine.

    And it’s been going for years and years. Still, we race in Saudi Arabia, the sport itself is sponsored by Aramco, an F1 team is sponsored by Aramco…

    If you are just selective standing against these types of military actions, you are accomplice, who is actually helping the country committing them, by only protesting when its rivals are doing.

    In F1 analogy, it would be like stewards only enforcing track limits on some drivers, but not the others. They would be effectively encouraging the non-penalized drivers to do it, because it brings them advantage, while not getting them any sanctions.

    1. Coventry Climax
      27th February 2022, 20:04

      Nobody here actually approves of those things. And I for one, would welcom F1 to stop visiting dubious countries, as I have said before.
      It’s not like: He throws his waste on the street, then it’s OK for me to do the same.
      No wrong, past or present, is an excuse to do wrong yourself.

      And don’t forget, this russian idiot is threatening with nuclear weapons. Apparently, he doesn’t care if his own people are eventually wiped out as well.
      Free Navalny and make him president. Decent chance I’ll love everything russian. (Well almost. To me, borsjt is just gross, for one.)

    2. Very well said. Aramco isn’t just complicit in these wars, it is engaging in total apocalypse as the literal world’s worst polluter. One wonders why Seb hasn’t been so vocal about them.

      1. And also why Hamilton isn’t vocal about Ineos, should weu also question this?

        1. I don’t honestly know much about Ineos but a quick search suggests its environmental record is appalling, so of course if it is engaging in the perpetuation of a humanitrian crisis or environmental catatrophe then yes, Hamilton should be holding it to account. He should also be calling out Petronas, as the Ferrari drivers should be calling out Shell. These are not the only harmful sponsors of course, and I’m aware of that. All we can do as fans is remind each other and the stakeholders of this sport that we fundamentally disapprove of the actions of its sponsors, and by association, F1 itself. Yes the drivers and teams shouldn’t be engaging with these companies, but we as fans also need to be vocal in our disapproval. We are, after all, the product for these sponsorship packages.

          1. Yeah, I mean, Hamilton posts pics of him cleaning a beach from plastic but his car and his team have one of the biggest polluters in the world as sponsor

            Too much hypocrisy in these sponsorships

  6. If Haas can hang on till next year or so, and Andretti are still fully invested in F1, it would be a perfect match

  7. This is bad news for Haas losing a title sponsor, they may lose Mazepin as well! Can they even carry on!

  8. We haven’t been planning for this

    Those who fail to plan are planning to fail. This isn’t the first time Haas have been caught flat footed by issues with their sponsors that seemingly everyone else could see coming.

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