The Haas Formula 1 team completed the final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona without any Uralkali sponsorship stickers or colours, which closely resembled the Russian flag.
The team, which is American-funded and owned began removing all Uralkali branding on Thursday, February 24, after Russian forces invaded Ukraine.
Uralkali is a Russian fertiliser company, of which Dmitry Mazepin is the majority shareholder and chairman, while also being the general director of Uralchem, the chemical manufacturing company of which Uralkali is a subsidiary.
Mazepin’s son, Nikita Mazepin currently races for Haas, but his future in the sport is now very much in doubt.
Hours after his invasion of Ukraine, Russian ‘president’ Vladimir Putin hosted a meeting of various oligarchs at the Kremlin in Moscow.
Among the oligarchs was Dmitry Mazepin, who can be found close to the centre of the seating arrangement. A full list of attendees of this meeting can be found here.
Haas team principal Gunther Steiner made his first media appearance since the decision to ditch Uralkali on Friday, February 25, explaining that “We removed it yesterday, we have to sort out all the legal stuff, which I cannot speak about.”
Steiner added that “At the moment, I said we’re not going to do it today. We made the decision yesterday with our team partners. This is what we’re going to do. I need to work on the rest next week.”
Steiner said the decision to remove the Uralkali sponsorship and colours had the full backing of team owner Gene Haas, and that it was “the right decision to take.”
Mazepin has been backed by his father throughout his racing career, which might come to an end much sooner than expected, at least in Formula 1.