After Russia invaded Ukraine late last month, Haas removed all Uralkali branding from his car, which resembled the colors of the Russian flag. The deal with the company was eventually terminated, as was Russian pilot Nikita Mazepin’s contract.
Uralkali had been Haas’ title sponsor since Mazepin joined the team at the start of the 2021 season, providing a significant financial boost to the US operation.
But Haas maintained he would be able to cope financially without Uralkali’s funding, allowing him to continue with his plans and preparations for the 2022 season.
Steiner admitted it was a “big hole” left by Uralkali after his exit, but said potential new sponsors were already showing interest.
“There’s good interest at the moment, I have to say, and I don’t know what that has to do with it,” Steiner said. ” I can not make any promise. I think with the sponsorship, we started a little late trying to actively get some early on. This is my opinion on this. But I think now we will progress.
“I am very confident. And also, again, showing people that now we want to come back and people know where we were. So I think we have a good chance.
Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22
Photo by: Motorsport pictures
Team owner Gene Haas’ company, Haas Automation, has boosted the brand image of the Haas VF-22 car with its revised livery, which also has sponsorship from German company 1&1 and IONOS.
F1 is currently enjoying a boom in the United States, which is expected to accelerate with the inaugural Grand Prix in Miami in May and interest from Las Vegas to stage a race from next year.
Haas is the only American team on the grid, but Steiner said it’s been difficult to get support from American brands.
“It’s just hard in America to get that big sponsorship right now,” Steiner said. “But it’s not just difficult for Formula 1. If you also look in the racing series in the United States, there are sponsors, but not really big ones.
“In NASCAR, it used to be that a car used the full livery for a full year. And there aren’t a lot of cars doing that right now, because it’s just a lot of money.”
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