Mercedes agrees to terminate controversial Kingspan sponsorship deal

Mercedes has terminated its Formula 1 sponsorship deal with Kingspan due to the firm's involvement in the Grenfell Tower inquiry


Kingspan logos on the Mercedes in Saudi Arabia

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Mercedes and Kingspan have announced the termination of their controversial Formula 1 sponsorship deal.

It comes after public and parliamentary pressure on Mercedes to back out of the deal due to Kingspan’s link with the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire that killed 72 people.

Mercedes confirmed via a statement that both parties had agreed to mutually terminate the deal.

“The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and Kingspan today announced that they have mutually agreed to end their partnership,” the team 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.”

Kingspan supplied some of the insulation used in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower but the firm says that it made up only 5% of the total insulation used, and that the company played no part in the design of the cladding system.

Company logos had been present on the Mercedes car throughout last weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, prompting backlash from fans and the wider public.

UK housing secretary Michael Gove said that the government could look into changing advertising regulations in motor sport if Mercedes did not reconsider the affiliation with Kingspan.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff responded to a letter sent to the team by the Grenfell United pressure group, imploring the team to reconsider the new sponsorship.

In response to the announcement of the termination, the group said that it was pleased with the outcome after meeting with Wolff.

“We are pleased to hear this morning’s news that Mercedes have terminated their sponsorship deal with Kingspan with immediate effect.

“We met with Toto Wolff and provided him and his team with the facts of Kingspan’s involvement in Grenfell, and Mercedes have done the right thing by dissociating themselves form Kingspan. This hopefully sends a clear message; that people must be put before profit.”

Kingspan issued its own statement on the termination of the sponsorship, adding that it agreed the relationship was no longer appropriate to continue and that it fully supported the government inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.

“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,” the Kingspan statement read.

“Much has been written about this over the past few days, and out of consideration for our customers and all the great people who work for us, we believe we must respond.

“We had no role in the Grenfell Tower refurbishment. However, our Kingspan Insulation UK business is a core participant in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and fully supports the Inquiry’s important work.”