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Haas has already made its choice: 'If Mazepin leaves, this will be his replacement'

Haas has already made its choice: 'If Mazepin leaves, this will be his replacement'

26-02-2022 08:38 Last update: 10:47


There is unrest at Haas. The American team has had UralKali as their main sponsor since last season and since then they have also been driving with the Russian flag on their car. However, Russia's invasion of Ukraine put pressure on Haas to stop working with UralKali. First steps have already been taken in this with the removal of the name on the car, but the consequences could be much greater.

Because the Russian company not only brings a lot of money. One of the drivers is also closely linked to UralKali. The future of Nikita Mazepin is also hanging by a thread, because he ended up in F1 via UralKali. His father owns the company and his sponsorship helped secure a seat for Mazepin in F1.

Logical choice for Steiner

Guenther Steiner already hinted on Friday that he is not sure whether Mazepin will stay on as a driver, but he did not say who would replace the Russian. To the American F1 journalist Bob Varsha of Speed City Broadcasting he let it be known that that choice has already been made. "If Nikita couldn’t drive for one or another reason, the first call would go to Pietro (Fittipaldi, ed.).

Fittipaldi has already driven two races for the American team in 2020, when Romain Grosjean could not finish his last F1 season after his hard crash in Bahrain. "Pietro is always around with us for a reason. The last years, we needed a reserve driver, having COVID around, so he is always around. He knows the team, he knows the car to jump in for one day to the other. There is nobody better than Pietro around at the moment."

Mazepin's future may not be in the hands of Haas

Mazepin's possible F1 career is not in the hands of Haas, Steiner has also revealed. With countries in Europe and America imposing sanctions on Russia, the main thing for the American team is to wait and see how severe those sanctions are and what the consequences are for Haas' financial situation. More clarity on the upcoming season for Haas is expected in the coming week.