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Formula 1 Barcelona February testing

Haas set to review Uralkali F1 sponsor deal next week

Haas is set to work on the future of Formula 1 title sponsor Uralkali next week after removing its stickers from its car following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-22, leaves the garage

Haas announced on Thursday evening that it would be completing the final day of F1 testing in Barcelona without any Uralkali sponsorship or colours, which resembled the Russian flag.

It has left the future of the deal and that of driver Nikita Mazepin uncertain ahead of the new F1 season.

Team principal Gunther Steiner made his first media appearance since the decision was taken on Friday, and explained that it would go through the legal ramifications next week.

"We removed it yesterday, we have to sort out all the legal stuff, which I cannot speak about, next week," Steiner said.

"At the moment, I said we're not going to do it today. We made the decision yesterday with our team partners. This is what we're going to do. I need to work on the rest next week."

Russian troops commenced a major military assault on Ukraine on Thursday morning after months of growing tensions.

The outbreak of war has also left the future of the Russian Grand Prix in serious doubt, leading to crisis talks between F1 officials and team bosses on Thursday evening in Barcelona.

Further information on the fate of the race is expected soon, but drivers and teams have already indicated it would not be viable to race there in September.

The Champions League final, which was due to take place in St Petersburg at the end of May, has already been moved to Paris.

Steiner said the call to remove the Uralkali sponsorship and colours had the full backing of team owner Gene Haas, and that it was "the right decision to take".

"There is no setback for the competition side because of this, none at all," Steiner said.

Nikita Mazepin, Haas F1 Team

Nikita Mazepin, Haas F1 Team

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

"We just need to go through the commercial issues. As I said before, we will do that in the next weeks."

Asked by Motorsport.com how much of a financial headache it would be for the team to potentially lose its title sponsor, Steiner said that "financially, we are OK."

"It has no [impact] on the team, how we are running it or how we are doing, how we plan this season," Steiner said.

"There are more ways to get the funding. There is no issue with that one."

Uralkali is co-owned by Mazepin's father, Dmitry, and has backed the Russian driver throughout his racing career.

Steiner acknowledged that Mazepin's future with the team "needs to be resolved" as there were bigger factors at play, such as government involvement.

"Not everything depends on us here, what is happening," Steiner said.

"There are governments involved and I have no power over them. We need to see also the situation, how it develops in Ukraine."

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