Autosport revealed last week that Haas had rejected a request for reimbursement of funds from its former title sponsor, Uralkali, after its contract was terminated following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Uralkali was seeking reimbursement of $13 million from Haas, but the team is now itself seeking more than $8 million in compensation for lost revenue from the sponsor whose owner, Dmitry Mazepin, has ties to Russian President Vladimir Cheese fries.
Haas F1 chief Steiner was reluctant to comment on the case, saying he wanted to respect the confidentiality of the ongoing legal process.
Having previously said there was good interest from potential new sponsors to help bridge the financial gap left by Uralkali, Steiner made it clear he would not be looking to rush into a major new contract.
“There’s a lot of movement, but we don’t want to move on to the next one immediately,” Steiner said.
“We want to take our time, do our due diligence, make a good decision. We are in a safe place at the moment.
“There’s no point in rushing anything that we might regret six months from now.”
Photo by: Andy Hone/ Motorsport footage
Before parting ways with Uralkali after just one season, Haas went through a rough patch in 2019 when Rich Energy served as their title sponsor.
The deal was eventually terminated after 14 races, weeks after former Rich Energy CEO William Storey announced on Twitter that the contract had been canceled due to “poor performance”.
When asked if the controversy surrounding Uralkali and Rich Energy prompted further caution, Steiner replied, “Obviously we live and learn.”
Steiner felt that if the interest from a potential major sponsor was serious enough, there would be no need to rush into a deal, allowing more time to perform due diligence.
He also explained that it’s not just about financial numbers to get a sponsorship deal done.
“We expect the best package, it’s a combination of things,” Steiner said.
“It’s the best offer, the best sponsor, and doing nothing [where you] maybe take a deal today that you find out in six months you shouldn’t have done that.
“Sometimes it’s a trap where you have to do it in two weeks to prepare and all that. Sometimes it’s better to sit down and say let’s talk to these people properly. Because if somebody’s still waiting, they can wait three or six months. There’s no rush.
“If the deal we think is not good enough for the future, we don’t have to do a deal this year. It’s not a must. We announced a small sponsor again today. today.
“There are things that happen, but it has to be fair.”
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