Mercedes have announced that their partnership with Kingspan has been terminated following controversy surrounding Kingspan’s connection to the 2017 Grenfell Fire.
Confirmation of Mercedes’ new partnership with cladding firm, Kingspan came to light last week ahead of Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which triggered a furious backlash from Members of Parliament (MPs) and the survivors’ group – Grenfell United.
Current Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove even wrote to Mercedes to complain about the sponsorship deal, which he proceeded to share on Twitter.
— Michael Gove (@michaelgove) December 3, 2021
On that same date, Mercedes Team Principal, Toto Wolff had addressed Grenfell United in which he iterated that discussions relating to the tragedy had taken place as part of negotiations in order to ‘understand what role their products played in what happened at Grenfell’.
Kingspan stated that they had ‘played no role’ in design or construction despite ‘a small percentage’ of their products being ‘used as a substitute without our knowledge’ in part of the non compliant aspects of building regulations.
A letter from Toto Wolff to Grenfell United. pic.twitter.com/OcczmEP4yA
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) December 3, 2021
Increasing pressure however have forced both parties to terminate the deal ‘with immediate effect’ in which they declared that now is ‘not appropriate for the partnership to move forward at the current point in time,’ despite the intended positive environmental impact in reducing carbon footprints.
Kingspan released an more in-depth statement in which they expressed that ‘Sustainability and sport are two long-standing passions and commitments at Kingspan’, which meant that they were keen to accept an ‘unique opportunity’ to chair Mercedes’ new Sustainability Working Group.
Their statement went on to acknowledge that they ‘are deeply aware of the sensitivities raised in recent days’, hence their decision to part company with Mercedes at this moment in time, which leaves the door open for the partnership to return in the future when appropriate to do so.
Amidst this controversy, Mercedes went on to win the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton following on-track controversy.