Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Red Bull Ring, 2019

Haas insists Rich Energy is still its title sponsor

2019 F1 season

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Haas has insisted Rich Energy is still its title sponsor despite the energy drink brand issuing a statement yesterday claiming it had terminated their contract.

“Rich Energy is currently the title partner of Haas F1 Team,” said team principal Guenther Steiner in a statement on Twitter.

“I cannot comment further on the contractual relationship between our two parties due to commercial confidentiality.”

Yesterday Rich Energy announced it had “terminated our contract with Haas F1 Team for poor performance.”

“The politics and PC [politically correct] attitude in F1 is also inhibiting our business,” they added. “We wish the team well.”

Haas finished fifth in the constructors’ championship last year but has fallen to ninth in the current standings.

This article will be updated.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 43 comments on “Haas insists Rich Energy is still its title sponsor”

    1. Pedro Andrade
      11th July 2019, 9:52

      Say what?…

      1. Wouldn’t be the first time that one side believes the contract allows them to leave, while the other disagrees. It’s also not uncommon that the one paying is the side hoping to get out of it… Especially when they realize that their commercial adventure isn’t going particularly well. ;)

        1. This is hilarious and the highlight of the season so far. People will write books about Rich Energy/Storey and how not to be an entrepreneur.

          Gold!

          1. @JC – gold. And then black. :)

        2. Pedro Andrade
          11th July 2019, 11:42

          So is this the team-sponsor version of the Button-Williams-BAR saga?

    2. And they say contractual law is boring.

      1. Just want to drink it all in.

        Until next season when we discover that Richie-E was a paid actor – on the Netflix payroll. You can’t make this stuff up! But Hollywood can.

        1. @jimmi-cynic

          Just want to drink it all in.

          Cue canned laughter.

    3. So, are Rich Energy trying to weasel out of some contractual commitments ($?), and Haas aren’t in the mood to play games, but want to hold them to the terms of their contract? That’s how it seems to me, given their respective statements.

      It’s popcorn time!

      BTW, the Haas tweet isn’t in the article: https://twitter.com/HaasF1Team/status/1149234399982100481

      1. “Rich Energy is currently the title partner of Haas F1 Team,” said team principal Guenther Steiner in a statement on Twitter.

        Yes it is?

        1. I meant the link to the tweet, not the text.

      2. thing is, it does look a lot like it, Rich is a absolute bust, there is no business there, and they either run out of money, or they don’t want to show it, take a pick. Haas on the other hand saw in Rich an opportunity to go racing almost for free, they didn’t need them, otherwise they would have made strides to get such a sponsor from the start of their campaign. But since they have committed, at least they must want to expose them, because if there is no money, even if the contract stands they won’t receive a penny. Only thing to search for here is punishment for Rich’s shady practices.

        that’s how I see it at least

        1. Haas will get paid regardless. The deal includes bank guarantees. So even if Rich Energy decide to switch to producing fake dear antler ornaments for your living room wall … or the ‘business’ goes belly up, Haas will get paid. As long as they keep their side of the contract. This message seems to prove they will.

          Somewhere some hotshot account manager at a bank is getting a bit hot under the collar though…

    4. Haas finished fifth in the constructors’ championship last year but has fallen to ninth in the current standings.

      There is a pattern to Haas year on year performances.

      2016 – Stable regulations, finished 8th which is fantastic for a debut.

      2017 – Regulation change, no previous year Ferrari to largely base car on. Also finished 8th but somewhat fortuitously. Car was generally further behind in races than in debut year.

      2018 – Stable regulations (Halo notwithstanding). Largely based on 2017 Ferrari, best ever result of 5th.

      2019 – Aero regulation change, previous year Ferrari concept requiring heavy adaptation. Struggling.

      The ups and downs of a B team model I guess but you can’t begrudge it at all. Drop Rich Energy, drop Grosjean and aim for 5-6th in 2020 I say, 4th will be a struggle now that McLaren have found their footing but there’s a chance they could still nick it from Renault.

      And regarding the actual article, smart from from Haas when they inevitably have it out in court with Scam Energy and can demonstrate they fulfulled contractual obligaitons instead of resorting to slander and childish tweets. Solid move.

    5. This could prove to be more entertaining than some of the races that we get.

      (leans over and grabs a handful of popcorn from @phylyp )

      1. (Phylyp offers a sip of an energy drink in a familiar black and gold can to go with it)

        1. (Notices the logo on the can) “I didn’t know that Whyte Bikes made energy drink”

            1. @nullapax @phylyp – priceless comedy value – thanks

    6. RE are due in court soon over the logo issue. They are facing paying £35k+ to Whyte Bikes and having to pass on information regarding their sponsorship of Haas and other business details. That will be when the ‘fun’ starts and us onlookers will possibly discover the true situation.

    7. OK I’m wondering if Rich Energy has been a scam all along?
      They were hoping the association with an F1 team would launch their product into profitability enabling them to continue the sponsorship, but it has failed. So they now must get the hell out of there before it’s exposed as a scam and the bank come after the money.

      1. @johnrkh – a valid question, one that’s been on the minds of many fans for many months.

        Like the Scooby Doo cartoons of old, they might have gotten away with it too, if not for that pesky Whyte Bikes. That really brought the focus of the judiciary onto them and their practices, forcing them to abandon ship.

        1. If it is Scooby Doo, they will eventually find a document that states that Whyte Bikes was behind it all along.
          Tbh, I hadn’t heard of them before, but I would like one of their bikes now =D

          1. @kelvin38 – LOL :) Whyte Bikes are for sure earning a lot of positive free press.

    8. Lawyer up folks, this has litigation written all over it!

      1. @geemac

        Back to the courts for Mr.Steiner… Or as he calls it … 2nd home.

        1. @todfod

          To jail with Mr. Storey, or as Gene Haas calls it, 2nd home …

          SCNR

    9. It get’s better and better! Apparently, Rich Energy’s investors are now trying to save the deal that Storey decided to take a dump on! :D

      https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/144709/rich-energy-investors-trying-to-salvage-haas-deal

      1. @losd – Cold War spy novels had fewer twists than this unfolding saga. We’ll soon be needing a timeline for who said what when.

        1. @phylyp The timeline is rather simple:
          1. Storey says/writes something silly.
          2. Everyone scrambles to fix it, probably fails.
          3. Rich Energy comes away looking a little more silly than it already did.

          Rinse, repeat ad nauseam, or until they fold. Which seems imminent… But it did so since the beginning, so who knows?.

          :D

    10. So are Haas due a payment this coming week or so?

      Because that would explain Rich Energy suddenly trying to run away and Haas saying “Not so fast”.

      1. @stopitrawr, possibly – whilst I understand that, at the very least, a significant portion of the funds had to be paid to Haas up front in the form of a secured bank loan, it’s possible that there might have been additional payments due during the season that Rich Energy are potentially defaulting on.

        Others have suggested that this might be an attempt to avoid having their accounts subject to scrutiny, as the legal judgement against them did include a requirement for them to reveal details of the financial transactions between themselves and Haas. However, that probably isn’t going to work, as it seems that they have to turn over all records, past and present, suggesting that simply trying to claim they are no longer sponsoring Haas isn’t going to work.

        1. Loan secured against what ??? Lawyers are making quite a bit of money around HAAS, Kevin losing against his former manager and now this.

        2. It’s ok, Storey will put together a document with fabricated financial details and present it as fact. Just like first time round with the logo “historical research”….

    11. What a nice mess!

      Does Haas still insist that due diligence process has been carried out in full and proper manner?)))

      1. @dallein That a good point, you’d think that a person with the experience of Haas would not be caught out like this. If indeed he has been caught out.

        1. I’m going with the explanation @johnmilk provided – Storey didn’t realize Haas was a bigger fish.

          1. good lad

    12. I’m half expecting that the next twist will be that Storey has done a runner having cleared out RE’s accounts.

      Leaving behind only a clip on beard…….

    13. Oooh, awkward … I’ll have some popcorn, too!

    14. This should be a good episode of Drive to Survive! I hope Netflix has the camera ready.

    15. Meanwhile, members of Haas’ marketing team have been spotted hanging around the offices of Whyte Bikes, hoping to strike a deal that means they don’t have to repaint the cars again…

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