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Haas counters claims of losing battle with Russian sponsor

Haas counters claims of losing battle with Russian sponsor
© Reuters
Haas has responded to allegations that the American Formula 1 team was defeated in a crucial legal dispute with a disgruntled former sponsor.

Haas has responded to allegations that the American Formula 1 team was defeated in a crucial legal dispute with a disgruntled former sponsor.

Last week, Nikita Mazepin's similarly dropped supporter, Russian fertilizer behemoth Uralkali, announced a victory in a Swiss arbitration case regarding their dissolved title sponsorship agreement. This was following Mazepin's concurrent termination in 2022.

Following these developments, reports emerged that Haas would have to return approximately $13 million in sponsorship funds to Uralkali, covering the prematurely ended contract at the beginning of the Ukraine crisis.

"The company expects Haas to promptly fulfil its obligations confirmed by the arbitration tribunal decision," Uralkali had stated.

However, Haas presented a different perspective on the Swiss proceedings.

"The arbitration panel ruled that Haas had 'just cause' to terminate its sponsorship contract with Uralkali, and denied Uralkali's claims for breach of contract," the team declared, countering Uralkali's previous claims.

Haas maintains that the arbitration panel actually supported the termination of the agreement due to "Uralkali's association with Russia."

"The panel emphasised that multiple other sports organisations severed their ties with Russian companies immediately after the invasion of Ukraine, and thus there was a risk that Haas could rapidly be the last non-Russian sport team continuing with a Russian name sponsor," explained a team spokesperson.

Although Haas is required to reimburse some funds to Uralkali, the team is allowed to "retain the portion of the sponsorship fee for the period before the termination," while returning "any balance to Uralkali."

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Nikita Mazepin pictured on June 16, 2022
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