In 2021, Russian fertilizer company Uralkali was a large part of the financial backbone of the Haas team. The head of the company, Dimitri Mazepin, asks for 114 million kroner from the Formula 1 team, which in turn responds with a counter-claim of 76 million kroner.
Uralkali’s request was flatly refused by Günther Steiner and the rest of the Haas leadership. Cooperation between the two ended after Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year.
The Russian company believes that it is entitled to recover the large sums it has already invested in the team in 2022, and has submitted a claim of 12 million euros – 114.2 million NOK.
Dmitriy Mazepin, who heads the company, is the father of Nikita Mazepin, who drove Formula 1 for the US team last year. The son was replaced by Dane Kevin Magnussen when his contract was terminated.
Mazepin Sr. now suffers heavy penalties for his close ties to Putin, and Hass almost immediately chose to cut ties with the Russian family when Putin entered Ukraine.
After Haas chose to end the collaboration, the company first tried to stop the operation. Then came the request for payment.
“Since most of the sponsorship funding for the 2022 season has already been transferred to Haas, and the team terminated the sponsorship agreement before the first round of the 2022 season, Haas has consequently failed to meet its obligations to Uralkali for this year’s season. Uralkali is therefore requesting immediate reimbursement of the amounts received by Haas.” . stated in a press release from the company.
In an official response, Hass, according to website motorsport.com, rejected all claims of Uralkali. The background to this should be a clause in the agreement that gives Haas the right to violate the Uralkali Agreement to “damage, destroy, or impair the perception of Haas in public.”
Moreover, Mazepin’s relations with Putin are naturally used as an argument for just this.
Haas also stresses that they have the law on their side.
“According to unanimous legal rulings and case law, the party who terminated the agreement due to the default of the other party is not obligated to return the money paid under the agreement.”appears in the message from Haas, according to Motorsport.com.
As a counterclaim, Haas will demand €8 million, NOK 76.1 million, in compensation from Uralkali for the lost bail income they would have received if they continued the agreement with Uralkali.
Motorsport.com also writes that Haas will not meet the stipulation in the contract that Uralkali will receive one of the Mazepin Formula 1 cars from the 2021 season before Uralkali pays the said requirements.
The next Formula 1 race will take place on Sunday 24 April at Imola. Charles Leclerc leads the World Cup summary, while Haas leaders Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher are ninth and 17th so far respectively.
In the constructors’ championship, American Haas finished seventh.