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Uralkali wants its money back from Haas

NEWS STORY
09/03/2022

Following the termination of its contract with Haas by the American team, Uralkali is seeking repayment of the "significant amounts" paid to the team in lieu of 2022 sponsorship and damages.

Days after Russia invaded Ukraine, Haas removed the Potash giant's logos and livery from its cars during testing at Barcelona. Subsequently, as global sanctions escalated, Haas announced that it had ended its partnership with the Russian company whilst also terminating the contract of driver, Nikita Mazepin.

In a statement issued today, Uralkali revealed that it is taking action against the American team to reclaim monies already paid for the forthcoming season.

The statement reads as follows:

"Uralkali (the Company), one of the world's largest potash producers, and also the title sponsor of Uralkali Haas F1 Team (the Team, Haas), hereby announces that it was advised by the Team of their unilateral termination of the sponsorship agreement with Uralkali due to the current geopolitical situation.

Uralkali has been for many years contributing considerably towards global food security and providing significant assistance to a whole range of sports associations, organizations and events both in Russia and abroad. The Company views the Team's decision as unreasonable and believes that sports should always be free of politics and pressure from external factors.

Given the above, Uralkali intends to protect its interests in line with applicable legal procedures and reserves its rights to initiate judicial proceedings, claim damages and seek repayment of the significant amounts Uralkali had paid for the 2022 Formula One season.

As most of the sponsorship funding for the 2022 season has already been transferred to Haas and given that the Team terminated the sponsorship agreement before the first race of the 2022 season, Haas has thus failed to perform its obligations to Uralkali for this year's season. Uralkali shall request the immediate reimbursement of the amounts received by Haas. The refund from Haas and the remaining part of Uralkali's sponsor financing for 2022 will be used to establish the We Compete As One athlete support foundation."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Defiant, 10/03/2022 17:49

"@ian_w thanks for that, that is an interesting take. You may be correct in the strategy, but I'd certainly argue that not refunding the money is abhorrent. I'm certain this story will be going on in the background for years to come."

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2. Posted by ffracer, 10/03/2022 11:46

"This will be great at arbitration.

A good portion of the 2022 sponsorship went into the building of the VF-22 and the reveal, the cars had Uralkali all over them up until then. Interesting to see how this unfolds in court. In any event, not the first rodeo for Haas but he must be concerned going toe to toe with somebody on Putin's speed dial list."

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3. Posted by ian_w, 10/03/2022 11:25

"@Defiant, it's called "Force Majeure", ".. such as a war, strike, riot, crime, epidemic or sudden legal changes prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract" (per Wikipedia).. This is a very common legal escape clause, along with "Act of God". Now, Putin is no god except perhaps in his own mind, and all evidence is the little man is clearly exerting a Force Majeure over Ukraine. Pretty sure F1 host organizers, FOM, the teams and sponsors have invoked that multiple times in the last 2 years.

If Mazepin Sr wants his roubles back, he can claim them in court, with reimbursement of his roubles once financial sanctions are lifted. Of course, one of the things about Force Majeure is the parties cannot be a party to it. If it's established Mazepin enabled Putin's actions, the his claim is moot. IANAL."

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4. Posted by Great_white_shark, 09/03/2022 19:25

"@Pavlo This is dangerous and deviant logic. If a person from Iraq or Afghanistan said something similar they would be accused of promoting terrorism. Imagine if they said "Well, western taxpayers support their nation's war machine so they deserve to be punished". Think about the insanity of your statement for a moment. I understand emotions are running high but this is never ok "

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5. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 09/03/2022 17:43

"Funds paid.
Service not delivered.
Refund said funds.

Damages? Not sure what that would cover."

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6. Posted by Editor, 09/03/2022 15:34

"@ Defiant

Totally agree"

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7. Posted by Defiant, 09/03/2022 15:27

"I'm genuinely surprised so many people think it's ok to renege on a deal due to circumstances outside their control.

No matter how distasteful Mazapin Snr you may find him, he's getting screwed over for something out of his control.

How short everyone's goldfish memories are, I find the irony that Haas played the victim in the Rich Energy saga is now the villain in the reverse storyline with Uralkali.
We all thought it was fine for Haas to drop Rich Energy as they hadn't paid the bills, but if Uralkali have paid up, I think they should be returning those roubles. "

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8. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 09/03/2022 14:43

"@ Max - excellent idea. I'm somewhat surprised, too, that Uralkali would have fronted up a full season's spondulix. I'm betting the truth is somewhat different....."

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9. Posted by Tardis40, 09/03/2022 13:46

"This could be the end of Haas"

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10. Posted by Roli, 09/03/2022 13:08

"Only one piece of advice to Uralkali is to get the money back from a Mr Putin !"

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11. Posted by Max Noble, 09/03/2022 11:31

"Donate direct to the Red Cross in Ukraine possibly?
I’m watching with concern and interest how CAS decides the Russian Football Federation protest of exclusion… One hopes that when the IOC had their moral compass repaired, they got a new one for CAS at the same time…"

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12. Posted by Pavlo, 09/03/2022 11:28

"We, Ukrainians, would be more than happy if russia would "protect its interests in line with applicable legal procedures" and "perform its obligations" within international agreements. Unfortunately they started the war. They should not be surprised that companies that pay taxes there and pay for killing civilians and children are punished."

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13. Posted by Wokingchap, 09/03/2022 11:03

"Sorry Uralkali, all Russian financial dealings and transactions are blocked until further notice. "

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14. Posted by ian_w, 09/03/2022 10:50

"Dear Uralkali, little busy right now. Happy to see you in arbitration court at a later date. Bring your yacht 'cos I hear they won't rent hotel rooms to Russians eight now. Also, you paid us in Roubles, you'll be getting Roubles back."

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