Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Albert Park, 2022

Haas won’t hurry new sponsorship deals after Uralkali split

2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says the team is taking extra care with its choice of partners after splitting from former title sponsor Uralkali.

The team severed its ties with the Russian company following the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimiar Putin’s military in February. Uralkali chief Dmitry Mazepin and his son Nikita, who drove for Haas last year, have both been subject to sanctions as a result of the war.

Asked whether the team will be more cautious over similar deals in future, Steiner said: “Obviously we live and learn.”

The team had already taken steps to tighten up its procedures prior to its split from Uralkali, he explained. “A new marketing director started with us in January and it’s one of his tasks to do all the due diligence and to make it as right as he can do these things.”

Haas is not in a hurry to find a replacement for Uralkali. “We are waiting for the best package,” said Steiner. “It’s a combination of things, the best offer, the best sponsor, and just not doing something, maybe today, which you find out in six months I shouldn’t have done.”

“We are obviously always looking for sponsors,” he added. “There is a lot of movement but we don’t want to jump immediately onto the next one.

Haas livery launch, Royal Automobile Club, 2019
Report: Haas being “a lot more careful” with sponsor deals after Rich Energy episode
“We want to take our time, do our due diligence, make a good decision. We are in a safe place in the moment so it’s no point to rush to anything which we may regret in six months’ time.”

On Wednesday the team announced a new partnership with payments system TransferMate, the groundwork for which was laid following pre-season testing in Spain. “There is stuff coming in but they need to be right,” said Steiner. “That deal with TransferMate took two months to get done. But these are all things which help the team.”

Uralkali has demand Haas return the money it paid in sponsorship following the termination of their deal. Steiner said the matter is in their lawyers’ hands.

“I don’t want to be in a position to comment publicly on our legal issues with our former sponsor,” he said. “It’s a legal situation and confidentiality I respect, because that’s what it should be. So I don’t want to come out here publicly ‘we said that, they said that’. ”

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2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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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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4 comments on “Haas won’t hurry new sponsorship deals after Uralkali split”

  1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    22nd April 2022, 9:40

    You’d think they would have had their guard up after Rich Energy

  2. Did Haas ever do anything legal wise against Rich Energy? Or did they just think ‘we got our fingers burnt, let’s move on’.

    Probably not a lot of point in suing a company that declared it £57 in the bank or whatever amount it was.

  3. Rich Energy was definitely a due diligence situation, but Uralkali pretty much 99.9% of the time would have been a safe bet.

    The situation with Russia and Ukraine is, similar to Covid, something no one could have predicted or expected with any level of certainty, but has put Haas in a situation for the 2nd time with main sponsors.

    As a new team, there was always going to be growing pains into F1 politics and way of doing things but fingers crossed they pull in a more reliable set of sponsors.

    Luckily for Haas this season they are doing better performance wise, and netflix drove to survive loves controversy so maybe a good time to start sponsoring and capitalise on some of the associated news and marketing areas.

  4. None of this answers why an American team, with access to the world’s biggest economy and largest multinationals, can’t get American sponsorship. The same was true of USF1. Drive to survive has supposedly grown the US market and there are multiple North American races which are well attended.

    Haas went from a project intended to sell Haas machinery, to getting duped by an obvious spoofer, to bring effectively on the road to takeover by a Russian oligarch.

    Across the board, where American companies sponsor F1, they are generally small sponsors. It doesn’t speak well of how seriously F1 is making actual monetary inroads rather than social media hype inroads into the American marketplace.

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