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."