Rich Energy claims it has terminated its title sponsorship deal with Haas, citing an “unacceptable” performance at the Austrian Grand Prix.
The energy drink company has attracted controversy throughout its short time in Formula 1 since signing with the American team this season, often citing Red Bull results and posting strongly-worded tweets.
Now, Rich Energy has again taken to Twitter to announce it has cancelled its Haas sponsorship deal, referencing the Austrian Grand Prix performance where Kevin Magnussen qualified fifth but finished 19th behind George Russell.
“Today Rich Energy terminated our contract with Haas F1 Team for poor performance,” Rich Energy tweeted. “We aim to beat Red Bull and being behind Williams Racing in Austria is unacceptable. The politics and PC attitude in F1 is also inhibiting our business. We wish the team well.”
Haas – currently ninth in the constructors’ championship with 16 points – has yet to comment on the claim. The team is setting up at Silverstone ahead of the British Grand Prix, where it carries extensive Rich Energy branding.
Following a recent legal case, Rich Energy was found to be infringing on the copyright of the Whyte Bikes logo in the United Kingdom and ordered to remove the stag logo from its drinks and any other products by July 18, as well as either handing over any existing products carrying the logo, destroy them or make them non-infringing.
As part of the Whyte Bikes court case, Rich Energy had also been ordered to disclose “any sums of money invested in or made available to Rich Energy, including for the avoidance of doubt sums invested in or made available to Rich Energy, in connection with its sponsorship of the Haas F1 Team… (and) any sums of money invested by third parties in any other company or entity controlled by Rich Energy in connection with and/or pursuant to the sponsorship of the Haas F1 Team.”
Rich Energy also has to reveal “full details of any sums of money paid or payable to the Haas F1 Team pursuant to Rich Energy’s sponsorship, indicating in each case whether such sums were paid or payable by Rich Energy or by any other entity.”
It is unclear at this stage whether the termination of the deal would remove the need for Rich Energy to disclose details relating to the Haas sponsorship.