(GMM) Gunther Steiner has admitted to meeting with Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin.
The Haas boss’ meeting at the Russian GP at Sochi recently triggered rumors not only that Mazepin’s son Nikita is in the running for a 2021 race seat, but that the small American team could even be sold.
“I have known Mr Mazepin for a long time,” Steiner told reporters at the Nurburgring. “He was in Russia for obvious reasons – he is Russian after all.
“He was in our motor home with his family. We drank coffee with them and, in fact, that is all.”
Steiner admitted that some parties may be interested in buying Haas, but clarified: “We are not for sale.
“Let’s end this conversation. If we put the team up for sale, we would do it the way Williams did, with a broker. That’s exactly what we would do.”
As for Haas’ 2021 lineup, Steiner revealed that he is “getting closer” to a decision.
It appears increasingly likely that both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean could be ousted.
“Nothing has happened in the last few weeks that is worth writing about,” Magnussen said at the Nurburgring when asked about his 2021 talks.
On Friday, Ferrari junior Callum Ilott will drive Grosjean’s car in practice.
But Steiner said of the British Formula 2 driver: “He’s not on our list because he is a Ferrari driver. He is their driver.
“I don’t know what their plans are for him, so at the moment he is not on our list. He can get on it, but certainly not if he smashes the car on Friday,” he smiled.
October 5, 2020
(GMM) Haas is reluctant to comment amid rumors the F1 team could be sold.
The small American outfit has already admitted that both of its current drivers could be replaced for 2021.
Sergio Perez is one strong option, but rumored in the past days is that also in the running is Nikita Mazepin, a Formula 2 driver.
Mazepin’s father is Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin, who in 2018 competed with Lawrence Stroll to buy the Force India team.
“We are hearing from Italy that Mazepin wants to buy Haas,” reported Auto Bild correspondent Ralf Bach.
“According to our information, Sergio Perez heard about the team’s negotiations with Mazepin and is no longer interested,” he added.
The Danish newspaper BT says the situation has also made current Haas driver Kevin Magnussen very nervous, as he begins to explore a ‘plan B’ for 2021.
“No deadline has been set,” a Haas spokesman said when asked about the team’s driver decision.
“When the team is ready to make a decision about the drivers, we will announce it publicly. There will be no comment on speculation of any kind.”
However, the spokesman did insist that Haas is “not for sale”.