Mercedes end controversial £4m-a-year deal with Grenfell firmDecember 8, 2021
EXCLUSIVE: Mercedes end controversial £4m-a-year sponsorship deal with Grenfell firm Kingspan after Toto Wolff apologised for their logo appearing on Lewis Hamilton’s car for the first time at Saudi Arabia Grand Prix
- The Kingspan logo appeared on Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes W12 last weekend
- It provoked major backlash as Kingspan products were used in Grenfell Tower
- 72 people were killed in a tragic fire in Grenfell Tower in London four years ago
Mercedes have ended their controversial £4million-a-year sponsorship deal with Kingspan before this weekend’s world championship showdown between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen with a termination agreement to be announced on Wednesday.
The Irish insulation firm’s logo appeared on Hamilton’s Mercedes W12 for the first time at the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix last Sunday, leading to a backlash from the public and politicians after it emerged that Kingspan products were used in Grenfell Tower, where 72 people were killed in a tragic fire four years ago.
Mercedes will remove the Kingspan branding from Hamilton’s car ahead of the decisive race in Abu Dhabi following several days of talks that also involved Grenfell survivors and the government.
Mercedes have ended their controversial £4million-a-year sponsorship deal with Kingspan
Sources with knowledge of the discussions told Sportsmail that the decision to cancel the lucrative multi-year agreement was a mutual one, with both Mercedes and Kingspan recognising that the sensitivity surrounding the Grenfell tragedy and the ongoing public inquiry into the disaster made it inappropriate to continue.
Mercedes’ move comes less than a week after the initial announcement of the deal, which was billed as a sustainability partnership.
Team principal Toto Wolff apologised to the Grenfell Survivors group and other bereaved relatives before last weekend’s Grand Prix for any distress caused and has spoken to several of them personally this week.
Hamilton will be relieved at not having to go into the one of the biggest races of his career as he seeks a victory that would deliver a record eight world title with the Kingspan controversy as an added distraction.
The 36-year-old attempted to distance himself from the sponsorship deal last weekend, saying ‘it is really nothing to do with me.’
The Kingspan logo appeared on Hamilton’s Mercedes W12 for the first time last weekend
Kingspan products were used in Grenfell Tower, where 72 people were killed in a tragic fire four years ago
Mercedes also came under considerable political pressure to act, with Communities Secretary Michael Gove urging them to think again last week.
‘Deeply disappointed that Mercedes are accepting sponsorship from cladding firm Kingspan while the Grenfell Inquiry is ongoing,’ Gove tweeted.
‘I will be writing to Mercedes to ask them to reconsider. The Grenfell community deserves better.’
Kingspan’s K15 insulation was one of the products installed on Grenfell Tower during its refurbishment.
In a statement released last Friday Kingspan said it ‘played no role in the design of the cladding system on Grenfell Tower, where its K15 product constituted approximately five per cent of the insulation and was used as a substitute product without Kingspan’s knowledge in a system that was not compliant with the building’s regulations.’
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