Mercedes and Kingspan have ended their controversial partnership with immediate effect after coming under pressure from the UK government about the deal.
Ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Mercedes announced a “global sustainability partnership” with Kingspan, despite the company supplying some of the cladding that was deemed responsible for the scale of the Grenfell tower fire in London in 2017. An ongoing public inquiry has accused Kingspan of ignoring fire safety test results, and Mercedes was heavily criticized for the timing of the deal, with a government minister even threatening to place further scrutiny on Formula 1 sponsorship deals in future.
While Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff offered to meet with survivors’ group Grenfell United after receiving a letter asking him to terminate the deal, he defended the partnership at the time. However, the team has now announced the relationship has been terminated.
“The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and Kingspan today announced that they have mutually agreed to end their partnership,” a Mercedes statement read.
“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.”
Mercedes ran Kingspan logos on its car in Saudi Arabia, but these will be removed for this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.