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Steiner admits meeting with Russian billionaire

Steiner admits meeting with Russian billionaire
© Reuters
Gunther Steiner has admitted to meeting with Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin.

Gunther Steiner has admitted to meeting with Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin.

The Haas boss' meeting at the Russian GP at Sochi recently triggered rumours not only that Mazepin's son Nikita is in the running for a 2021 race seat, but that the small American team could even be sold.

"I have known Mr Mazepin for a long time," Steiner told reporters at the Nurburgring. "He was in Russia for obvious reasons - he is Russian after all.

"He was in our motorhome with his family. We drank coffee with them and, in fact, that is all."

Steiner admitted that some parties may be interested in buying Haas, but clarified: "We are not for sale.

"Let's end this conversation. If we put the team up for sale, we would do it the way Williams did, with a broker. That's exactly what we would do."

As for Haas' 2021 lineup, Steiner revealed that he is "getting closer" to a decision.

It appears increasingly likely that both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean could be ousted.

"Nothing has happened in the last few weeks that is worth writing about," Magnussen said at the Nurburgring when asked about his 2021 talks.

On Friday, Ferrari junior Callum Ilott will drive Grosjean's car in practice.

But Steiner said of the British Formula 2 driver: "He's not on our list because he is a Ferrari driver. He is their driver.

"I don't know what their plans are for him, so at the moment he is not on our list. He can get on it, but certainly not if he smashes the car on Friday," he smiled.

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Gunther Steiner pictured on February 19, 2020
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