’Progress’ in search for Uralkali replacement
"Of course it leaves a big gap"
Gunther Steiner admits he is on the hunt for a new replacement sponsor for the axed Uralkali deal.
Unwittingly embroiled in the fallout of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and subsequent western sanctions, Haas terminated its deal with Uralkali, headed by Nikita Mazepin’s father Dmitry.
"Of course it leaves a big gap," team boss Steiner admitted. "Fortunately, there are interested parties who want to join us.
"I don’t want to promise anything but we are making progress in attracting new partners. I’m very confident about that.
"I think everyone understands that we are positioned very differently in 2022 than we were a year ago. In any case, our season is not at risk without Uralkali," he added.
Indeed, Haas focused on developing its all-new car for 2022 throughout last season, resulting in very promising results in pre-season testing.
"We can’t forget that the team with the least wind tunnel testing for 2022 was Mercedes, by virtue of its constructors’ championship in 2021," former Indycar star Patrick Carpentier told La Presse.
"It was very different for a team like Haas, for example."
Another theory is that, now suddenly without a title sponsor and with arguably the smallest budget in Formula 1, the 2022 Haas was simply light on fuel in the testing.
When asked about his surprising pace, Mick Schumacher admitted: "Many teams have probably not yet shown their full performance yet.
"But that doesn’t mean we have."