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Uralkali demand immediate refund of Haas sponsorship cash

Haas' former title sponsor, Uralkali, have demanded an "immediate reimbursement" of the money they claim to have already paid to sponsor the team for the 2022 season.

Former Haas title sponsor, Uralkali, which saw their agreement with the team terminated last week, are demanding an immediate refund of sponsorship cash and have threatened legal action. Haas' decision to terminate their agreement with Uralkali came following Russia's military assault on nearby Ukraine, an invasion that has been condemned by nations across the globe. Haas did not cite the invasion as the reason for their decision but commented: "As with the rest of the F1 community, the team is shocked and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and wishes for a swift and peaceful end to the conflict." The VF-22 ended the opening Barcelona pre-season test in an all-white livery, free of Uralkali colours and branding, and it is expected that the team will adopt a similar look in Bahrain.

Uralkali threaten legal action

In a statement published on Wednesday morning, Uralkali, founded by the father of recently dropped Haas driver Nikita Mazepin, have branded the termination of their sponsorship agreement as "unreasonable" and added that, in their view, sport should "always be free of politics and pressure from external factors". They went on to say: "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 1 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."

Mazepin looking to set up foundation for forbidden athletes

In response to being dropped by Haas, Mazepin has set out plans to launch a foundation that will offer support to "forbidden" athletes, banned from competing in international sporting events. Uralkali say the money they hope to be "reimbursed" by the Haas team will pay for the project. As of yet, the FIA have banned no Russian or Belarusian drivers from competing in their international competitions, only demanding that they do so under the flag of the FIA, not the flag of their homeland. Russian and Belarusian drivers have instead been asked to complete a 'commitment form' stating that, amongst other clauses, they will not display any Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colours or flags publicly on their car, clothing or on social media.

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