Haas, Silverstone, 2019

“Surprised” Haas will run Rich Energy logos at Silverstone

2019 British Grand Prix

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner confirmed the team will keep running the logos of its title sponsor Rich Energy, who announced yesterday it was terminating the contract between the pair.

Steiner said Rich Energy’s social media post yesterday announcing the end of their relationship after nine races came as a “surprise” to him. The team’s motorhome is bearing the Rich Energy logos at Silverstone today and Steiner confirmed they will remain on the cars too.

“I don’t want to put anybody in a difficult situation but I cannot say anything about it,” said Steiner, who issued a statement earlier today confirming Rich Energy remains the team’s title sponsor.

“They will be on the car this weekend and then the rest we need to sort out going forward what we are doing,” he said. “The commercial agreement doesn’t let me talk any more about it and I don’t want to.”

Steiner said his focus this weekend will be pulling the team out of its recent slump in performance, rather than the unexpected off-track distraction.

“It’s part of the job,” he said. “You can do without it but it’s not like I’m staying up at night thinking about it. We get on with our job.

“For me more important is we get the car where we want to be. That is our focus.”

Rich Energy accused the team of “poor performance” when it announced the split. However Steiner said he was not about to be dragged into a war of words.

“We are being professional about it and I think I’m known to be professional. When I can speak, I speak, when I cannot, I don’t speak. It’s no point to go into a war of words about something.

“It doesn’t upset me, it’s just something I need to deal with next week and I will.”

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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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  • 20 comments on ““Surprised” Haas will run Rich Energy logos at Silverstone”

    1. What’s the deadline for them to be legally removed due to the copyright claims (regardless of this weeks latest mess)?

      1. The court gave a deadline of 18-July (IIRC) for Rich Energy to remove the stag logo.

      2. @hawkii – that’s for you ^

      3. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        11th July 2019, 13:17

        The stags head logo had already been removed from the car from France onwards. This refers to the ‘Rich Energy’ text part

    2. I never heard of a performance clause being in a sponsorship contract. Is that a common thing? This whole Rich Energy thing is bizarre.

      1. Maybe, just maybe this one is a special case because its an “energy driks company” (or whatever Energy is) battling against another one (Red Bull). Maybe they were thinking that Haas could beat Red Bull because they were using the Honda Engine, and maybe even Haas personel believed in they could beat Red Bull too.

        I really dont see anything wrong with a clause like that. Its not illegal at all

      2. I doubt it was down to performance as much as it was Rich Energy (specifically Storey) were trying to save face before the company goes down in flames. After the lawsuit with Whyte Bikes over the stag logo, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if RE can’t afford to pay for the sponsorship anymore, and that’s assuming the checks were clearing to begin with.

      3. Dane, as others have noted, in this particular case it does seem to be somewhat questionable whether such a clause existed, especially as it seems unlikely that Haas would have genuinely believed that they could beat Red Bull – given that Storey has had a habit of making cheap jibes at Red Bull, as well as having been deemed a less than reliable witness during the Whyte Bikes court case, that sounds more like an excuse than a credible claim.

        On your broader point though, performance clauses are not unheard of within sponsorship agreements, although I believe that it tends to be more commonly used in relation to bonus payments i.e. in return for, say, a certain number of points or victories, a sponsor might pay an additional success bonus.

    3. Becoming the title sponsor of a midfield F1 team: $10,000,000-$20,000,000 per season.
      Embarrassing that team for months before running away, leaving the team with a lazily copied logo on their cars that no one ever gave them a single penny for: Priceless.

    4. “We are being professional about it and I think I’m known to be professional. When I can speak, I speak, when I cannot, I don’t speak. It’s no point to go into a war of words about something.

      wow! Rich was so shady that it has actually lost the moral high ground to Gene Haas…

      1. Those are Steiner’s words, not Gene’s. The former has always come across forthright, as best as I can recall.

      2. @arrows98
        The irony of it all is amusing me to death!

    5. Classy and professional from Haas/Steiner.

      The same can’t be said for Storey, though it seems the investors behind Rich Energy are at least trying to be professional and salvage something.

      1. Hmm, keeping the logo? I wonder if there is a lawsuit in preparation? I agree with the comment above expressing surprise at a performance clause. Just specificallywhat performance would HAAS have guaranteed in the contract, F1 being what it is?

    6. Rich Energy accused the team of “poor performance” when it announced the split. However Steiner said he was not about to be dragged into a war of words.
      “We are being professional about it and I think I’m known to be professional. When I can speak, I speak, when I cannot, I don’t speak. It’s no point to go into a war of words about something.
      “It doesn’t upset me, it’s just something I need to deal with next week and I will.”

      The difference between a class act and a cheap showman.

      1. I like Gunther

        Charismatic individual, belongs to F1 no doubt. Hope this doesn’t make him think otherwise

    7. Those quotes sound like it’s just happened too quick to practically make the necessary changes. Wouldn’t surprise me if William Storey ends up being charged with fraud at some point, at the very least going bankrupt. What does surprise me is that he’s got as far as he has with all these smoke and mirrors.

      It was picked in the comments here even as soon as Rich Energy rumours started going around back with Force India last year.

    8. If Haas has a binding contract for the year, they will keep the status quo. If they took off the RE branding, RE could argue they stopped receiving the contracted service from Hass, putting them in breech, or at the very least opening the door for some sort of settlement.

      If Haas keeps the branding, they don’t open the door for RE to try and recover some of the money. This if course assumes RE is bluffing about there being a performance clause. I know bluffing would be totally out of character for RE…

    9. Gunther is a smart guy and will milk this for all it’s worth e.g as someone already mentioned, keep the branding untill the contract says so (if it does say so).

      RE will do anything to get their name out there, this is just another stunt, fuelled by sites like this.

    10. I really thought that their message on twitter early in the year saying they expected to be the best energy drinks team of the grid was some kind of a joke. It only makes any sense if they were expecting Red Bull to be as bad as Mclaren were with Honda power.

      Or perhaps they were already planting the seed to use it later, like they’re doing now.

    Comments are closed.