Mazepin hits out at Haas over contract termination
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Haas have released a statement denying allegations by PBS News Hour that the team’s partner Haas Automation has been ‘providing machines and parts’ to Russia. The American evening television news program accused Haas Automation of supplying Russia with ‘precision machining tools’ from their California factory.
The news programme claims that Russia use the parts to ‘produce guidance systems for anti-aircraft weapons used by the Russian military’. PBS News Hour state that their claims are based on documents filed with the U.S. Treasury and the Department of Commerce late last month.
The claims suggest that Haas Automation have violated the US export control and sanctions regulations. Haas have now released a statement stating that the “story is simply false, both in its overall impression and in many of its particular statements.”
The F1 constructor then listed key points which it highlighted from the news report. They stated that Haas Automation ‘is and has always been’ in full compliance with US Government export control. The constructor added that ‘no machines have shipped from the Haas Automation factory to Russia since March 3, 2022’.
Haas stated that the 18 machines referenced in the story left the Haas Automation factory prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They also added that Haas Automation ‘voluntarily chose to terminate’ its relationship with the Russian distributor, which they say has ‘never been required by any US sanctions’.
Finally the constructor added that Haas Automation “completely supports Ukraine and its people in their defence against Russia”. Haas added that ‘shortly after’ Russia’s invasion into Ukraine they terminated its relationship with its only distributor for Russia and Belarus, Abamet Management.
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The statement also added: “Since that date, Haas has not sold or shipped any machines, parts, or software to Abamet or anyone else in Russia. This crucial fact was made clear to the PBS reporter before the story was aired.”
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner apologised to Russian driver Nikita Mazepin after his contract was terminated on the eve of the 2022 season beginning.
Haas also ended their relationship with title sponsor Uralkali – the fertiliser firm co-owned by Mazepin’s father Dmitry – after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. The EU General Court has now lifted a ban on Mazepin traveling into Europe which was blocking his F1 career.
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