Steiner Reveals Mazepin’s Haas Future Isn’t Guaranteed – WTF1
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Steiner Reveals Mazepin’s Haas Future Isn’t Guaranteed

Amid all the uncertainty surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the calls to cancel the Russian Grand Prix, Haas’ sponsors Uralkali have come under the spotlight.

The American team decided to remove all branding by the Russian fertiliser producer from their car and paddock buildings last night and instead have chosen to run a blank livery instead of their red and blue design.

Nikita Mazepin brings significant sponsorship to team through his father’s company, ensuring Haas’ survival during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, their Team Principal Guenther Steiner has admitted that the Russian’s seat isn’t guaranteed.

When asked by The Race about Mazepin’s future, Steiner revealed that “it needs to be resolved”.

“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.”

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 grid has been heavily criticised from the start after a number of incidents, including punching ex-Ferrari junior Callum Ilott in the face during after an F3 practice session in 2016 and after a video emerged of him appearing to grab woman inappropriately.

He then went on to endure a tough rookie season that saw him languish at the back of the grid and be well beaten by teammate Mick Schumacher.

However, it seems the team owned by Gene Haas aren’t reliant on Uralkali’s funding and have already had interest from several potential drivers should Mazepin lose his seat.

There are also calls to ban Russians from obtaining visas, which would prevent Mazepin from attending several races on the calendar. Their reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi could be an option, or an American driver perhaps?

Do you think Mazepin will compete in 2022? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

17 thoughts on “Steiner Reveals Mazepin’s Haas Future Isn’t Guaranteed

      • It may be… Andretti finally will have his team… together w Gene they could actually run it successfully.. + I believe Andretti probably have his own American driver… If not HulkSuperSub could fill that seat this year 🙂

        • Patrik Gilmore says:

          I don’t think so, It looks like Andretti want to join as the 11th team. I would say that audi or volkswagenwould be more fitting, as they have been rumoured for s long time

    • Speciouspunter says:

      I’d like to believe that. However I do suspect that Mazepain has enough offshore assets that he can probably fund HAAS till the cows come home if he desires to. The issue is simply why bother if you cannot have your brand on the car?

  • I would a love shuffle that results in Oscar Piastri getting a ride.

    Ya know, just cuz… F4 Champion, F3 Champion, F2 Champion…

  • Well as expected there are plenty of crazy remarks on here from the usual armchair experts but the fact remains, as it always has, that when any pay driver’s sponsors payments do not get through (for whatever reason) that driver is out by default of contract. Mazepin is obviously a ‘Pay Driver’, ie, one who only got the drive by bringing a lot of sponsorship money. He was not the first, and will not be the last, but just the fact that his sponsor is Russian and all financial dealings with Russia are being blocked means the contract will be broken. A for the wider political implications, I would have said in the past, certainly when Bernie ran the show, F1 tried to stay out of any political controversy, but in these caring, sharing times when Hamilton airs his complaints loudly and often we have seen more drivers speak out on their pet cause and now Vettel has said he would not race in Russia (even before the GP was officially canned) it seems there may yet be more political awareness among F1 people.

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