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Rich Energy claims it has terminated its title sponsorship deal with Haas, citing an “unacceptable” performance at the Austrian Grand Prix.

 

The energy drink company has attracted controversy throughout its short time in Formula 1 since signing with the American team this season, often citing Red Bull results and posting strongly-worded tweets.

 

Now, Rich Energy has again taken to Twitter to announce it has cancelled its Haas sponsorship deal, referencing the Austrian Grand Prix performance where Kevin Magnussen qualified fifth but finished 19th behind George Russell.

 

“Today Rich Energy terminated our contract with Haas F1 Team for poor performance,” Rich Energy tweeted. “We aim to beat Red Bull and being behind Williams Racing in Austria is unacceptable. The politics and PC attitude in F1 is also inhibiting our business. We wish the team well.”

 

Haas – currently ninth in the constructors’ championship with 16 points – has yet to comment on the claim. The team is setting up at Silverstone ahead of the British Grand Prix, where it carries extensive Rich Energy branding.

 

Following a recent legal case, Rich Energy was found to be infringing on the copyright of the Whyte Bikes logo in the United Kingdom and ordered to remove the stag logo from its drinks and any other products by July 18, as well as either handing over any existing products carrying the logo, destroy them or make them non-infringing.

 

As part of the Whyte Bikes court case, Rich Energy had also been ordered to disclose “any sums of money invested in or made available to Rich Energy, including for the avoidance of doubt sums invested in or made available to Rich Energy, in connection with its sponsorship of the Haas F1 Team… (and) any sums of money invested by third parties in any other company or entity controlled by Rich Energy in connection with and/or pursuant to the sponsorship of the Haas F1 Team.”

 

Rich Energy also has to reveal “full details of any sums of money paid or payable to the Haas F1 Team pursuant to Rich Energy’s sponsorship, indicating in each case whether such sums were paid or payable by Rich Energy or by any other entity.”

 

It is unclear at this stage whether the termination of the deal would remove the need for Rich Energy to disclose details relating to the Haas sponsorship.

 

 

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The odd story of Haas and the Rich Energy sponsorship has left the Formula 1 Paddock scratching heads about what on earth is going on, not least because the cars are still liveried and there are no plans to change that - and because the team is saying very little.

 

This means that, despite all the rumours after Rich Energy’s announcement, the deal is still in place and judging by the team’s behaviour there is not a problem between the team and the sponsor. Could it be a legal move in case things end up in court? No, because there is clear evidence that Rich Energy has terminated the deal and if the team wanted to, it could stop the sponsorship straight away. So, the only logical conclusion is that there is something going on inside Rich Energy. We really don’t know much about the company. The man behind the business is William Storey, an attention-seeking ZZ Top-lookalike figure who put together a consortium of wealthy individuals to launch an energy drink and to use F1 to promote it. The team has bank guarantees and so the backers must have money because banks don’t do things like that without serious evidence of cash.

 

Thus one can speculate that perhaps the problem lies between Storey and his backers. Storey appears to have dropped off the planet but we expect to hear more as the weekend progresses. Whatever the case, it’s a weird story... in the finest tradition of Weird F1 sponsors.

 

There has since been a statement from the Rich Energy shareholders: “Clearly the rogue actions of one individual have caused great embarrassment. We are in the process of legally removing the individual from all executive responsibilities."

 

Exit ZZ Top...

 

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Williams Storey, CEO of Haas title sponsor Rich Energy, has attacked a statement by his own company which denied it had terminated its contract with the Formula 1 team and accused other shareholders of attempting a “palace coup”.

 

A group referring to themselves as “the shareholders who own the majority of Rich Energy” blamed “the rogue actions of one individual” after a social media post yesterday claimed the company was ending its support of Haas due to its “poor performance”.

 

However a further social media post from Rich Energy’s account, attributed to Storey, attacked that response and claimed those behind it were sympathetic to rival brand Red Bull and Whyte Bikes, who recently won a court case against Rich Energy over trademark violation.

 

“The ludicrous statement by minority shareholders cosy with Red Bull and Whyte Bikes is risible,” said the statement attributed to Storey.

 

“Their attempted palace coup has failed,” the statement added. “I control all of the assets of Rich Energy and have support of all key stakeholders.”

 

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said today he was “surprised” by the announcement Rich Energy was pulling its support and said the company’s branding would remain on their cars at this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

 

 

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To nek cuva kao raritet, koliko sam cuo pala je presuda da se zaplenjuju sve konzerve sa ovim logom.

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Haas has announced it has separated from its title sponsor, Rich Energy, with immediate effect.

 

A statement issued by the team said: “Haas F1 Team and Rich Energy have amicably agreed to end their partnership together in the FIA Formula 1 world championship with immediate effect.”

 

RaceFans understands the team has already submitted a request to change its official team name from Rich Energy Haas F1 Team to Haas F1 Team.

 

“While enjoying substantial brand recognition and significant exposure through its title partnership of Haas F1 Team in 2019, a corporate restructuring process at Rich Energy will see the need for a revised global strategy.

 

“Subsequently, Haas F1 Team and Rich Energy concluded a termination of the existing partnership was the best way forward for both parties. Haas F1 Team would like to express its thanks and best wishes to the stakeholders at Rich Energy.”

 

The relationship between Haas and Rich Energy has been a turbulent one since the team unveiled its cars in the black and gold colours of the energy drink brand ahead of the start of the new season. Rich Energy was already facing a court case alleging its stag logo branding had been copied from cycling brand Whyte Bikes.

 

The stag motif disappeared from Haas’s cars after Rich Energy lost the case. However the rest of the company’s branding remaining, even after Rich Energy announced on social media it had “terminated our contract” with Haas due to the team’s “poor performance”.

 

While the statement was subsequently retracted, doubts persisted over whether the relationship would be able to continue. Team principal Guenther Steiner said last weekend he expected the situation to be resolved before the next race in Singapore.

 

 

:twak:

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says the reason his team has struggled so much this season is because it hasn’t made any progress with its 2019 car.

 

Pre-season testing and the Australian Grand Prix looked encouraging for Haas, with the team looking like a serious threat for fourth in the constructors’ championship and the title of best of the midfield teams behind the top three. However, its performance dropped off rapidly and Steiner says changing car specifications in recent races has demonstrated no significant improvements have been made.

 

“Since two or three races ago we know where pretty well where we are at,” Steiner said. “Changing over to the Melbourne spec helped a lot to understand it and get the reality of where we are at. That’s what that was done, because the Melbourne spec is as good as this one, so we know what that means: we didn’t make any progress.

 

“And everybody else did — especially the first year with the new regulations, you make progress and we didn’t. That is where we are and that’s why the car was good in testing and Melbourne, and then we just stood still.”

 

Haas will run its latest specification of car in Singapore before using elements of the older specification in Russia in search of the ideal performance. Steiner says it would be unfair to pin any future hopes of improvements by Pirelli with its tires, given how Haas has struggled to develop its car this year.

 

“I don’t rely on Pirelli because we haven’t seen a solution yet, so we cannot rely on it, to be honest. Because, why did we end up this way? Even with a different tire we’ve seen that we wouldn’t drop off this brutally but we would still not be fast enough. We need to work on ourselves. We didn’t react well when we learned about the tire, and what we did didn’t help it.

 

“This tire just needs loads of downforce to make it work. This is what we haven’t got — it’s pretty obvious out there when you see it. So I’m not relying on Pirelli that they will come up with a magic tire, because even a magic tire we wouldn’t be fast because the others would still go faster. The drop-off wouldn’t be so brutal in the race but the rest would be pretty similar.

 

“So we need to work on ourselves and then just see what Pirelli comes up with. And hopefully the tire is not worse than this one.”

 

 

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