Mercedes have ended their sponsorship deal with Kingspan, terminating the deal on Wednesday.
The Irish insulation company signed a lucrative deal worth a massive £4million per year with the automobile giant. Their logo appeared on the Mercedes-AMG F1 car at the Saudi Arabian GP, but now it has been for nought.
The German team received massive backlash from fans and from those whose lives were affected by Kingspan. The company wittingly or otherwise caused the deaths of 72 people four years ago due to their products not being safe enough.
The criticism prompted team principal Toto Wolff to issue an apology to the near and dear ones of those who perished. Mercedes also ended their sponsorship deal with Kingspan.
As reported by Daily Mail, it has been revealed that the decision to terminate the agreement was a mutual one. Mercedes wanted to preserve their image amidst the sensitivity of the incident, while Kingspan seems to have accepted their tarnished reputation is entirely on them.
Mercedes announced the deal as part of a sustainability partnership. The fact that the company closed the doors on it less than a week later is commendable, and deserves praise.
The political pressure on the company was immense, with Communities Secretary Michael Gove leading it.
“Deeply disappointed that Mercedes are accepting sponsorship from cladding firm Kingspan while the Grenfell Inquiry is ongoing,” he had tweeted.
“I will be writing to Mercedes to ask them to reconsider. The Grenfell community deserves better.”
Kingspan’s statement on the issue said the company “played no role in the design of the cladding system on Grenfell Tower, where its K15 product constituted approximately five per cent of the insulation and was used as a substitute product without Kingspan’s knowledge in a system that was not compliant with the building’s regulations.”