Vladimir’s ordered invasion by Russia in Ukraine has not just stirred up geopolitical conflicts all over the world but has forced leaders of all sports, especially ones that had scheduled events in Russia to engage in thorough dialogues and discussions regarding the next step they would take in such a situation that screams crisis for everyone alike.
Formula One bosses had to similarly sit down for heavy talks regarding necessary next steps to be taken about the Russian Grand Prix which was set to take place later this year. The board came to a conclusion of scrapping off the Russian Grand Prix for this season which now leaves 22 races on the list of races ahead.
A lot of the people on the grid have spoken against the Russia-Ukraine conflict including the likes of Sebastian Vettel who has even made a potent statement of completely boycotting the Russian Grand Prix on his end if it was still going to take place considering the current scenario. Max Verstappen has also spoken against the conflict.
What remains a matter of concern is the next proceedings of American-based racing team Haas who not only have a Russian sponsor Uralkali but also have a Russian driver as one of their driver duo in the form of Nikita Mazepin.
What does Haas’ team principal Steiner have to say about the impending questions and the ones that have been answered?
It is not just that Haas has a Russian sponsor in the form of Uralkali but Uralkali’s owner Dmitry’s son Nikita Mazepin drives for Haas alongside teammate Mick Schumacher. Haas has already started taking steps towards this political issue by removing their Russian sponsor Uralkali and eliminating the influence of the Russian national flag’s color scheme from their livery for the final day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
However, there still is an impending question regarding Mazepin’s future as a Haas driver considering his Russian nationality. “It needs to be resolved,” said Haas’ Team Principal Guenther Steiner in reference to Mazepin’s future as a Haas driver in a conversation with BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer Andrew Benson.
“The team is not affected by this, there are governments involved and I have no power over them and we need to see how the situation develops in Ukraine,” he reassured since there were doubts regarding Haas’ future in Formula One following the removal of their primary sponsor. “I spoke to them yesterday and told them there is nothing to worry about. I spoke with the board of Haas Automation, I spoke with the sponsors, it was taken in unison all together.”
Steiner has also mentioned that the removal of the Uralkali branding from their livery comes after a discussion between Uralkali and Haas’ American owner Gene Haas. It is also to note that though Haas has no signs of Uralkali on their livery anymore, it’s still prevalent on the clothing of Haas’ crew.
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