Marketing and Sponsorship

Mercedes F1 team receives pushback for Kingspan sponsorship

Kingspan is under scrutiny for its part in the '17 Grenfell disaster, leading to criticism of Mercedes' sustainability partnership with the companyGETTY IMAGES

Mercedes' F1 team is "coming under increasing pressure" from the U.K. government for "agreeing to a sponsorship deal with a company under scrutiny for its part in the 2017 Grenfell disaster," according to Chris Medland of Kingspan supplied some of the cladding that was "deemed responsible for the rapid spread of the fire" that led to 72 people losing their lives. An ongoing public inquiry has "accused Kingspan of ignoring fire safety test results," leading to "significant criticism" of Mercedes after it announced a global sustainability partnership with the company and ran Kingspan logos on its car in this past weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. U.K. government minister Michael Gove wrote an open letter to Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff -- copying in F1 President Stefano Domenicali -- "warning that sponsorships in F1 could come under greater scrutiny if the team doesn’t terminate its deal" (, 12/4). In London, Robert Booth noted Wolff on Friday afternoon "apologised to the survivors and bereaved families of Grenfell Tower for the hurt caused by the new partnership, but stopped short of announcing the deal would be abandoned." He accepted "an offer to meet community representatives." He said that before agreeing the deal with Kingspan, Mercedes "asked what role its products played in what happened at Grenfell" (London GUARDIAN, 12/4).

GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION?'s Luke Smith wrote Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton was "associated with the story when initial reports emerged in the U.K. media, given his profile and previous support for Grenfell families." Hamilton addressed the matter for the first time on Saturday evening after qualifying. He explained that he "had 'nothing to do with the team signing any of the sponsors' with the exception of clothing brand Tommy Hilfiger" (, 12/4).

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