The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team announced on Wednesday ahead of this weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that they have ended their association with Irish insulation manufacturer Kingspan with immediate effect.
The news comes following the fallout from the announcement of the deal which came last week as Kingspan were one of a number of companies mentioned in relation to Grenfell tower disaster but they were not involved in the refurbishment of the premises prior to the fire in 2017.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Mercedes said:
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.
Kingspan issued their own statement on Wednesday to say:
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