Mercedes and Kingspan have officially confirmed the end of their cooperation in F1. A British firm was supposed to sponsor a team from Brackley, but the deal sparked controversy in the UK over the unclear role of Kingspan materials in the London skyscraper fire.
Wikimedia Commons / ChiralJon / Pictured: Grenfell Tower after a fire
Mercedes announced a sponsorship deal with Kingspan on the occasion of the Saudi Arabia GP and thus caused a large scandal in the UK. The materials produced by this company were used to build the Grenfell Tower skyscraper in London, which burned down in 2017. 72 people died in the fire and 74 were injured – including a Polish family.
On Wednesday morning, the Daily Mail reported that the Formula 1 team had terminated its sponsorship deal due to public pressure. The speculation was confirmed a few hours later with an official statement from the Brackley team.
“Mercedes and Kingspan would like to announce that they have agreed to end their cooperation. The new partnership, announced last week, has allowed Kingspan to chair a new working group on sustainable development and aimed to ensure that carbon dioxide emissions are reduced through state-of-the-art, environmentally sustainable solutions,” the statement said Mercedes.
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“However, both sides concluded that it was inappropriate for the cooperation to continue at the present moment, despite the intended positive environmental impact. Therefore, we agreed that we would end it with immediate effect,” he added.
Kingspan issued its own statement stressing that the company is “deeply aware of the sensitive issues that have been raised in recent days.”
Earlier, the company announced that it was not related to the tragedy that happened in London in 2017. The foam tiles were to be placed on the facade of the Grenfell Tower without the manufacturer’s knowledge, and in addition they accounted for only 5 percent. the entire structure. Moreover, immediately after the incident, the product was withdrawn from sale after there were allegations that it did not meet fire safety requirements.
In Wednesday’s announcement, Kingspan added that it is “a major contributor to the Greenfell Tower fire investigation” and “fully supports the investigators’ efforts.”
The termination of the contract between Mercedes and Kingspan was demanded by the Grenfell United association, which brings together the families of fire victims, as well as representatives of those affected by the disaster. The organization reacted positively to the decision of the F1 team, saying in social media that it “did the right thing”.
“As getting justice on this topic is still very far ahead of us, these small steps encourage us to continue the fight” – announced Grenfell United.
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