Hitech team has been sponsored by Uralkali since 2016. The fertilizer maker’s CEO is Dmitry Mazepin, father of former Haas driver Nikita Mazepin. At the pre-season test in Bahrain last week, Hitech drove without the Uralkali name. The racing team announced on Tuesday that they would end the collaboration with immediate effect. Hitech added that he was shocked and saddened by the war in Ukraine and hoped that the conflict would end peacefully soon. “Hitech Grand Prix has decided to end the sponsorship deal with Uralkali effective immediately,” the team said in a statement. “Like the rest of the motorsport community, the team is shocked and saddened by the invasion and wishes a speedy and peaceful end to the ongoing conflict.”
On February 24, at the behest of President Vladimir Putin, Russian troops launched an invasion of neighboring Ukraine that is still ongoing. The invasion was strongly condemned by Western countries and sanctions were imposed on Russia worldwide. In sports, Russian athletes and teams are no longer allowed to participate under the Russian flag, and the Russian national anthem is also banned.
The Haas F1 Team has already said goodbye to Mazepin
War broke out in Ukraine during the three-day F1 shakedown in Barcelona. The Haas F1 team decided to remove the Russian sponsor and livery from the VF-22. Last weekend, the American formation announced that Mazepin was no longer under contract with the stable, and Mazepin was disappointed with the decision. Pietro Fittipaldi takes his place at the second F1 test in Bahrain.
Uralkali joined Hitech when Mazepin joined the team in 2016 in the F3 European Championship. The following year, the Russian stayed with the team and eventually finished tenth in the final standings. In 2020, Mazepin returned to Hitech in Formula 2 and finished fifth.