By Matthew Roscoe • 08 December 2021 • 14:20
LEWIS Hamilton’s Mercedes team has put an end to the controversial sponsorship it had with Grenfell insulation firm following public outcry over the partnership.
The F1 team’s sponsorship deal with cladding maker Kingspan was terminated after one Grand Prix amid widespread criticism from survivors’ group Grenfell United who highlighted the insulation firm’s links to the 2017 disaster, which took 72 lives.
Following the backlash, a statement released by Mercedes today (December 8) said: “The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and Kingspan today announced that they have mutually agreed to end their partnership.
“Announced last week, the new partnership included Kingspan chairing a new Sustainability Working Group for the team, and aimed to deliver carbon reductions through their leading-edge environmentally sustainable solutions for the team’s future campus.
“However, both parties have subsequently concluded that it is not appropriate for the partnership to move forward at the current point in time, notwithstanding its intended positive impact, and we have therefore agreed that it will be discontinued with immediate effect.”
Lewis Hamilton’s team terminated its short-lived partnership with Kingspan after Grenfell United condemned Mercedes team principal and co-owner Toto Wolff’s decision to partner with the firm.
Grenfell United, which represents bereaved people and survivors, told Wolff: “Kingspan played a central role in inflicting the pain and suffering that we feel today, and there must be a degree of public censure for Kingspan’s recklessness and carelessness for human life.”
For his part, Wolff apologised for the “additional hurt that this announcement has caused” and accepted an offer to meet with the group.
Grenfell United welcomed today’s news: “We’re pleased to hear this morning’s news that Mercedes have decided to terminate their sponsorship deal with Kingspan with immediate effect,” a spokesperson said. “We met Toto Wolff and shared the facts from the Grenfell inquiry, and Mercedes came to their own conclusion. Mercedes have … shown that people can be put before profit.”
Having spoken previously in solidarity with the Grenfell community, Lewis Hamilton said before his win in Saudi Arabia on December 5: “It was news to me when I heard the things that have happened this week. Unfortunately, my name is associated with it because it has been on my car, but whether that remains the same, we will see.”
He added: “Toto is sorting it.”
Kingspan said in a statement: “We are deeply aware of the sensitivities raised in recent days, and so we have jointly agreed that it’s not appropriate to move forward at the current point in time.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]euroweeklynews.com.
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