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Formula 1 Bahrain GP

Haas: 'Good interest’ from F1 sponsors to fill big Uralkali hole

Haas Formula 1 chief Gunther Steiner says the team attracting “good interest” from possible sponsors to help fill the “big hole” left after the exit of former title sponsor Uralkali.

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-22

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine late last month, Haas removed all Uralkali branding from its car, which resembled the colours of the Russian flag. The agreement with the company was ultimately terminated, as was Russian driver Nikita Mazepin’s contract.

Uralkali had served as the title sponsor of Haas since Mazepin joined the team at the start of the 2021 season, bringing a significant financial boost to the American operation.

But Haas has maintained it would be able to cope financially without Uralkali’s funding, allowing it to continue with its plans and preparations for the 2022 season.

Steiner admitted it was a “big hole” that had been left by Uralkali after its exit, but said there was already interest being shown by potential new sponsors.

“There is good interest at the moment, I must say, and I don't know what it has to do with,” Steiner said. “I’m not promising anything. I think with the sponsorship, we started a little bit late in actually trying to get some actively from the beginning. That's my opinion about it. But I think now we will make progress.

“I'm 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 got a good chance.”

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Team owner Gene Haas’s company, Haas Automation, has gained more branding on the Haas VF-22 car with its revised livery, which also carries sponsorship from German company 1&1 and IONOS.

F1 is currently enjoying a boom in the United States, which is set to be accelerated with the inaugural Miami Grand Prix in May and interest from Las Vegas in staging a race from next year.

Haas is the only American team on the grid, but Steiner said it was difficult to secure backing from American brands.

“It is just difficult in America to get this big sponsorship in the moment,” Steiner said. “But it's not only difficult in for Formula 1. If you look also in the racing series in the States, there is sponsorship, but not a really big one.

“In NASCAR, in the old days, one car was running the full livery a full year. And there are not many cars doing that in the moment, because it's just a lot of money.”

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