Haas, Silverstone, 2019

Haas splits from title sponsor Rich Energy

2019 F1 season

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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.

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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...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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  • 42 comments on “Haas splits from title sponsor Rich Energy”

    1. georgeboole (@)
      9th September 2019, 14:21

      For sure I ‘m waiting for the new tweets.

      1. Few days back saw news of the previous owner of that company return to public. I think he has been kicked out of the firm after the previous debacle.

        1. @coldfly – For sure, this is the right comment by @georgeboole ;)

          I expect nothing less than any comment starting with the words “for sure” now on.

        2. georgeboole (@)
          9th September 2019, 20:48

          @coldfly @phylyp leave me alone I know what I m doing! Just couldn’t help myself. It’s been years since there was enough excitement for a season

    2. With all that is happening with the terrible car, teammates colliding and this sponsorship debacle, Haas are hot favorites for Reject of the Year 2019.

    3. Who could’ve foreseen that? He that saw this coming back in that beautiful October of 2018, let him cast the first stone.

      And now for something completely different.

    4. I guess they need approval from the other teams to change their official team name.
      Rich could pay Williams a few pennies to block that, and keep the free advertising*.

      * Like Boris can get his no-deal by convincing Hungary/other to veto an extension.
      Maybe Rich Energy can title sponsor the UK: ‘Rich Energy Brexit’

    5. Mark my words this will coincide with an uptick in form for Haas. Why? Absolutely no logical reason except this season has been pretty gold off track and on and it’s just a prediction i’m making.

      Drive to Survive season 2 is going to be so good…

    6. No way!
      Rich Energy (btw, why are they still “Rich Energy”, when they have already rebranded?) found out, that they don’t have a spare $100 on their bank accounts?

      I refuse to believe that! Such a trustworthy company couldn’t be that bad at accounting?)))

      1. Thankfully the joke of the Year is finally over, but I guess we’ll be hearing about all involved for quite some time!

        Maybe this will teach Haas how to perform “due diligence”… which they swore they performed before signing the agreement.

        1. I’m thinking now that their due diligence only went so far as to determine that the money on offer from Rich Energy was for real. The first installment or two anyway.

      2. I think they will have had to pay a pretty decent chunk of those 100 million anyway to be able to terminate “amicably” @dallein. It’s not as if Haas would have just let them walk out on the contract without getting paid at least a significant part of that sum.

        1. Rich probably paid the balance in energy drink food stamps. Or more likely… Netflix paid it with hollywood glory notes.

      3. @Dallein

        The actual company behind the allegedly available drink is now registered as Lightening Volt Limited, whilst someone else has spent £10 setting up a new company called Rich Energy Limited.

    7. I suppose in a way this is kinda bad for Haas but at the same time Rich Energy were far more trouble than they were worth. The whole thing just feels ‘off’, if that makes sense. Although Haas is losing a title sponsor I actually think they’ll be better off without.

      Also I STILL haven’t seen a Rich Energy drink anywhere.

      1. I think it is actually pretty good for Haas @rocketpanda. They got the money for this year (that was paid up front) and since the parties agreed, that almost certainly means the F1 team got a solid chunk of the money that was left on the contract (they requested all of it, but off course that was their opening gambit). On top, they now have the time to look for a new sponsor for hte following two years and get rid of the rich guys.

        1. @bascb, on the other hand, the reputational damage done by this incident may make it rather harder for Haas to secure new sponsors – give how this has made Haas look, if you were a potential sponsor, would you now want your name to be mentioned in association with Haas?

          1. I think this year’s lack of results will hurt Haas far more than any reputational fallout from having a bat crazy partner like Rich.

    8. At the risk of repeating myself from a previous article, which seemed to fall on deaf ears, the second seat at Haas in 2020 is looking like a bit of a turd to me. I can’t see the Hulk taking that up like it has been suggested. Does anyone else think that Giovinazzi’s seat might be up for grabs for him next year? Otherwise where does he go, third driver duties feels like a career death sentence to me just as much as a poor year at Haas.

      1. @danstimo – it’s interesting how the Hulk’s name crops up with respect to 3 Ferrari-powered seats – as a #2 for Ferrari if Vettel quits, if Grosjean is sacked, or if Giovinazzi loses his drive :)

      2. I agree. It’s not looking promising for Haas to build a great car next year, there seems to be a downward trajectory. A poor seat in a small team is quite the step down from a works Renault drive. At this stage in his career, I feel like if he isn’t getting a top drive for 2020, he should look outside of F1. It’s a shame because I always felt he could have been pretty successful in the right team.

      3. Hulk looks super cool and calm and maybe something is going on… Don`t forget that Hulk is quite close with Alfa`s boss Frederic Vasseur and that was one of the main reasons for him to sign with Renault in 2016. Well, after that Cyril fired Vasseur, but Fred knows what he is doing and proved it with Sauber/Alfa Romeo.
        I really hope that Hulkenberg will sign a two-year deal with Alfa Romeo. It works perfectly for them too, as next year they will have a super-experienced duo and in 2021, if ready, Mick Schumacher will partner Hulk and learn from him.

    9. So a new livery for Haas for the rest of the season?

      1. You would think so. Why advertise a company you are no longer receiving cash from?

        1. Singapore is the place for it!

          Do you remember Renault going bare there in 2009 after ING pulled the plug.

          1. Isn’t Singapore a night race? So yes, a great place for something that’s a bit brighter.
            As an aside, I see the Haas Automation website still posts a picture of the F1 car with that “old” livery. I guess they’ll be wanting to change that as soon as possible so as to not infringe on Rich Energy’s copyright.

            1. @drycrust – For sure, I think it’d be interesting for them to flip it – black on a gold car. Will look totally bling under the lights of Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

              It will also endear them to Liberty, who are all about the new shiny, and will earn them tons of TV time. Battle for the lead between Max and Lewis? TV director cuts to the Haas glittering under the lights.

              Not to mention the sight of Guenther Steiner kitted out in gold.

      2. Stars and Stripes??

    10. It’s about time Haas finally pulled the plug on this. It should never have happened to begin with! Even if the money was legit, why on Earth would they go after F1 sponsorship rather than, oh I don’t know, investing it? Nothing about Rich Energy ever made sense. They’re the closest thing we have to the Andrea Moda of F1 sponsors.

    11. When you first look at the registration at companieshouse.gov.uk and see that its a £10 company you know it aint gonna last.

    12. Speaking of Haas. What’s going on with them? I remember Steiner mentioning they didn’t have hydraulic suspension. Why? They are a joke at the moment.

    13. I have trouble sleeping sometimes.
      Occasionally I wonder how many other people are the same way.
      I can picture Mr Steiner laying in the dark wondering what the @#”& is going to happen tomorrow.

    14. I’m fully expecting a livery in the style of Dan Gurney’s All American Eagle Champcars for Singapore.

      Please don’t disappoint me, Gene.

      1. Looking at the white – grey two tone paint job on the Haas machines, with a red on white Haas logo, I think with a bit of care and flare that’d do the job just fine.

    15. Will Haas get their points stripped like Force India? Or does this not count as a ‘change of constructor’ ?

      1. This doesn’t count in the same way. This is simply a name change, nothing more. Force India changed the legal entity that owned the team, therefore, the changed the constructor of the car.

      2. There’s some rule regarding something like a “Constructor’s number” that is important. If I recall correctly in the case of Force India that number was changed during the sale of the assets to the Lawrence Stroll consortium, however in this particular case the Constructor’s number won’t be changed, so no, there shouldn’t be any loss of points, and, importantly, there shouldn’t be any loss of TV rights payout.

    16. Amid all of this I wonder who’s money was actually used to pay Haas. There seemed to be no actual cash in the corporate entity of Rich Energy.
      Somewhere along the line, I suspect we’re going to hear about a bunch of people having their investment money “diverted” to a F1 team instead of the enterprise they thought they were investing in or Haas not actually having received a cent.

      1. @dbradock My thoughts exactly, this Justin King bloke can’t be too daft, but you never know. I can help but feel some people somewhere have been taken for a ride here.

        1. “This Justin King bloke” was Chief Executive of Sainsburys Supermarkets for about 10 years, probably knows more than most about finding his way round P&L Accounts and a Balance Sheet.

          I believe the Williams Team declined sponsorship from William Storey/Rich Energy and went instead with Rokit who actually have some money!

    17. Nooo. I was kinda looking for the next chapter in this debacle with a smirk already on my face.

    Comments are closed.