With the conflict between Russia and Ukraine erupting at the start of the year, the Haas F1 team had no choice but to fire its Russian driver, Nikita Mazepin, as well as to forego financial support. of its title sponsor, Uralkali.
At the head of the American team since its debut in Formula 1, Günther Steiner has never been bored in recent years to keep it going in the discipline. But he admits that he had never had to manage such a crisis internally.
« It never happened! What year are you talking about in February? » quipped Steiner.
« Yeah, that was definitely at the top of our list of issues, but while it’s something I wish I hadn’t had to deal with, we knew what needed to be done. So it was all about know how to do it, all without hurting anyone and doing as little damage as possible. »
« It could have done some damage because the other sponsors wouldn’t have been happy. A lot of people wouldn’t have been happy if we hadn’t done what we did. It was a tough decision to make but it was necessary, because even if the people involved had done nothing wrong, the context left us with no other choice. »
« It kept us busy but we got used to it, in the end we were like ‘well, we’ll take care of it!’ That’s how it was. There was nothing we could do to avoid it. A challenge came our way and we had to deal with it in the best possible way at the time, so let’s get it over with rather than let it linger. . »