Report: F1 Team Sponsor Linked to Russian Army. Again.

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Haas Automation, which sponsors a Formula 1 team, has once again been accused of shady connections to Russia.

A PBS report suggests that Haas Automation has been supplying "several sanctioned enterprises in the Russian arms industry" with precision machining tools. If that's true, the Oxnard, California-based company would be violating American sanctions on Russia.

PBS cites documents filed with the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Treasury late in February. Those documents were filed by the Economic Security Council of Ukraine (ESCU) and allege that Haas is working the Russian arms industry and with Abamet Management LTD. Abamet is alleged to have bought equipment from Haas and then sold it to sanctioned Russian entities.

Denys Hutyk, a consultant with the ESCU, says that Russia published the procurements and it was able to trace things from there. The ESCU also used customs records.

Haas also supplies the U.S. military. Equipment produced by Haas is said to be much better at precision machining than Russian equipment.

Haas, for its part, denies this. From a Haas release:

Haas Automation is and has always been in full compliance with U.S. Government export control.
No machines have shipped from the Haas Automation factory to Russia since March 3, 2022.
The 18 machines referenced in the story left the Haas Automation factory prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Haas Automation voluntarily chose to terminate its relationship with the Russian distributor, which has never been required by any U.S. sanctions.
Haas Automation completely supports Ukraine and its people in their defense against Russia.

PBS pushes back, saying it reviewed customs records that showed shipments continued well past the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. PBS says it found at least 18 shipments from Haas directly to Russia between March 4, 2022, and October 2022. The shipments were worth a total of $2.8 million.

PBS notes that whether sanctions are in place or not, Russia's arms industry is reliant on equipment and technology supplied by other nations. A Ukrainian government body that sets sanction policy for that nation believes other Western companies, such as Germany's Siemens, are also providing equipment to Russia.

Back to Haas -- Hutyk believes that the company is continuing to maintain the equipment via software updates and with spare parts, and Haas should've known it was selling stuff that would be used in Russian military plants.

This isn't the first controversy involving Haas and the Russian invasion of Ukraine -- the Haas-sponsored F1 team dropped driver Dmitry Mazepin and sponsor Uralkali last year after Russia invaded Ukraine.

[Image: Haas Racing]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

Join the conversation
3 of 19 comments
  • Mike Beranek Mike Beranek on Mar 20, 2023

    I wonder how many Russians are able to secure what they need by pretending to be Ukrainian. Or Polish. Or something else that some Americans are too clueless to figure out.

  • Bobbysirhan Bobbysirhan on Mar 20, 2023

    The Pulitzer Center that collaborated with PBS in 'reporting' this story is behind the 1619 Project.

    • EBFlex EBFlex on Mar 20, 2023

      So in a year and a half we will know the truth. Sounds typical from our state run media.

  • Grg I am not sure that this would hold up in snow country. It used to be that people in snow country would not be caught dead in a white car. Now that white cars have become popular in the north, I can't tell you how many times I have seen white cars driving in the snow without lights. Almost all cars are less visible in a snow storm, or for that matter, rain storm, without lights. White ones become nearly invisible.
  • Douglas I have a 2018 BMW 740e PHEV, and love it. It has a modest electric only range compared to newer PHEV's (about 18 miles), but that gets me to the office and back each day. It has a small gas tank to make room for the battery, so only holds about 11 gallons. I easily go 600 or more miles per tank. I love it, and being able to take long road trips without having to plug in (it just operates like a regular Hybrid if you never plug it in). It charges in 75 minutes in my garage from a Level 2 charger I bought on Amazon for $350. Had an electrician add a dryer outlet beside the breaker box. It's the best of both worlds and I would definitely want a PHEV for my next car. 104,000 miles and ZERO problems with the powertrain components (so far).
  • Panther Platform I had a 98 Lincoln Mark VIII so I have a soft spot for this. The Mark VIII styling was not appreciated by all.
  • Grant P Farrell Oh no the dealership kept the car for hours on two occasions before giving me a loaner for two months while they supposedly replaced the ECU. I hate cords so I've only connected it wirelessly. Next I'm gonna try using the usb-c in the center console and leaving the phone plugged in in there, not as convenient but it might lower my blood pressure.
  • Jeff Tiny electrical parts are ruining today's cars! What can they ...