$8 Million Feud That Could Trigger Defamation Lawsuit on Guenther Steiner by Mazepin Family

Somin Bhattacharjee
|Published April 06, 2023

The start of the 2022 season saw Haas endure a turbulent time off the track. Their principal sponsor at the time, Uralkali, was owned by Russian billionaire Dimitry Mazepin and his son Nikita was one of the drivers. However, the team was forced to part ways with all of them, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Team boss Guenther Steiner had to make sure that they find a replacement in time, and also deal with the off-track drama that would follow. In spite of these problems, Haas made major strides in 2022, allowing them to finish P8 in the standings with 35 points (35 more than they scored in 2021).

However, the entire transition was difficult for Haas and Steiner. The latter is now publishing a book called Surviving to Drive, where he talks about the difficulties he faced as a team principal of the team. Fans are eagerly waiting for this book to release, but Dimitry Mazepin is not one of them.

Mazepins worried about defamation from Haas boss Guenther Steiner

Steiner is one of the most popular figures in F1 at the moment. He became a star after the release of Netflix’s Drive to Survive docuseries, and it is a given that fans would want to get even more insight into the 57-year-old’s life as a team boss.

Mazepin, however, has threatened to sue Steiner. This is because the Russian businessman is worried about Steiner defaming him, and his company Uralkali. According to Business F1, Steiner has agreed to not make any derogatory remarks about Mazepin or his company. However, the book will include the difficulties he had to face because of Russia’s invasion, and Haas’ subsequent fallout with Uralkali, their title sponsor.

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It has been more than a year since Haas parted ways with Mazepin and Uralkali. Regardless, Mazepin remains frustrated with how things unfolded, and his also determined to get his $8 million payout, that he feels the Kannapolis-based outfit owes him.

Steiner- “No more Russians!”

In the season five of Netflix’s superhit show, Drive to Survive, Haas’ fallout with their Russian partners was documented. The war Russia declared on Ukraine had severe consequences around the world, and F1 was not spared of that.

Haas had to part ways with Uralkali because of sanctions and it made them take a huge financial hit. On top of that, Nikita Mazepin was fired just a week before the start of the season. Steiner was tasked with sorting out the team’s immediate future, both on and off the track.

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In the show, Steiner was heard talking about how he is done with Russians, and does not want to meet anyone from the country every again in his life. Presumably, the Italian-American was referring to his life inside of F1 as a team boss.

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About the author

Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee is an F1 writer at The SportsRush. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and aims to work in the sports industry for the rest of his life. Somin has been a fan of Scuderia Ferrari since 2010 and his favorite driver is none another than the great Fernando Alonso. Other than longing for a Ferrari Championship win once again, Somin spends his free time playing football and basketball.

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