Mercedes has ended its partnership with Kingspan in a mutual decision with immediate effect after controversy that followed since its announcement.
Following the announcement of entering into a partnership before the Saudi Arabian GP, Mercedes has now confirmed the end of its deal with Kingspan in a mutual decision as they feel the timing is not right due to the sensitive situation.
The deal immediately drew ire of Grenfell survivors as they took to social media with an open letter. Toto Wolff responded to the letter and agreed to meet the survivors. However, with Lewis Hamilton being pressured into the situation, it started to move sideways.
Hamilton even hinted of not carrying the sticker on his car but now it won’t be needed with Mercedes eventually deciding not to press ahead with the deal. The announcement came on the eve of the 2021 finale in Abu Dhabi.
A statement from Mercedes stated: “The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and Kingspan today announced that they have mutually agreed to end their partnership. 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.”
At the same time, a further expanded statement from Kingspan noted: “Sustainability and sport are two long-standing passions and commitments at Kingspan. When Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team approached us to chair their new Sustainability Working Group, we saw a unique opportunity to bring the two together in a way that would support a sport we love, while bringing sustainability to a world stage.
“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. 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. We understand that this is a complex topic, but there are some important facts that we would like to explain:
1. We did not make the exterior cladding on Grenfell Tower. The Inquiry itself has stated that “the principal reason” for rapid fire spread on Grenfell was the Polyethylene cored ACM cladding used on the exterior of the building. No facade system using this PE ACM cladding, regardless of the insulation used, would have passed the necessary large-scale system fire test. Our K15 insulation board was misused in this unsafe and non-compliant system.
2. We did not supply or recommend K15 to Grenfell Tower. K15 made up approximately 5% of the insulation layer of the façade system. It was substituted without our knowledge.
3. We have completed new tests which support the previous fire safety claims of the three historical K15 large-scale system tests which came into question during the Inquiry process. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the wholly unacceptable historical conduct and emails which emerged throughout the course of the Inquiry discovery process.
“We have sincerely apologised for these actions by a small group of employees at our Kingspan Insulation UK business. This in no way reflects Kingspan’s culture or values. A more detailed explanation of these issues is available in our Module 2 closing submission. A list of the extensive set of measures in place across our business to ensure that these historical process and conduct shortcomings can never occur again is available in our statement of February 19th.
“Both can be read on our dedicated microsite: https://inquiry.kingspan.com | The planet is our priority, and we are resolutely focused on playing our part in combating climate change through our products and Planet Passionate sustainability programme which you can read
about here: We Are Planet Passionate | Kingspan | Group.”
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