Haas title sponsor Rich Energy says it has terminated its sponsorship of the Formula 1 team after just nine races.
“Today Rich Energy terminated our contract with Haas F1 Team for poor performance,” it announced on social media on Wednesday. “We aim to beat Red Bull Racing and being behind Williams Racing in Austria is unacceptable.”
The highest-placed Haas driver in the Austrian Grand Prix was Romain Grosjean, who finished 16th, two places ahead of the leading Williams of George Russell in 18th. Grosjean’s team mate Kevin Magnussen came 19th ahead of Robert Kubica in the other Williams.
“The politics and PC [politically correct] attitude in F1 is also inhibiting our business,” Rich Energy added. “We wish the team well.”
Neither the sponsor nor the team has released any further information.
Since becoming Haas’s title sponsor Rich Energy has attracted attention with a series of provocative social media posts, many of them targeted at rival energy drinks brand Red Bull.
However in May Rich Energy lost a court case brought by ATB Sales, owners of the Whyte Bike brand. ATB successfully argued Rich Energy’s logo infringed their copyright, following which the stag design at the centre of the dispute was removed from all Haas branding.
Rich Energy were subsequently refused permission to appeal the decision and were ordered to remove all the infringing copyrighted marks and pay damages to ATB. The company was also ordered to reveal details about its business including its sponsorship arrangement with Haas.
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