Formula 1 team Haas has refused to return $13 million to former title sponsor Uralkali, according to Autosport.
Haas terminated the contract with Uralkali at the beginning of the 2022 season. Nikita Mazepin, the son of the owner of the company Dmitry Mazepin, lost his place as a combat pilot in the American team, he was replaced by Dane Kevin Magnussen.
Uralkali demanded that Haas return $13 million that was paid before the start of the 2022 season. The team claims it had the right to terminate the contract because of a clause in the sponsorship agreement that says that Uralkali “shall not harm, ridicule, challenge or reduce the public reputation” of the American team. Haas noted that Dmitry and Nikita Mazepin were on the EU sanctions list before the start of this season. However, the contract was terminated before this event.
Haas called Uralkali’s claims unfounded and rejected them, and also demanded additional compensation in the form of $8.7 million for lost profits due to early termination of the contract. The American team will not give Uralkali one of the cars that Nikita Mazepin drove in the 2021 season until they receive this additional compensation. In addition, Haas refused to pay Nikita Mazepin a salary for the period in which the rider worked in the team in 2022 before the termination of the contract.
Uralkali has been the title sponsor of Haas since the 2021 season. Russian racer Nikita Mazepin spent the entire last season in the team, his best result was 14th place at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.