Mercedes keep logos of crisis-hit crypto brand FTX on their F1 cars in Brazil

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Mercedes plans to continue carrying the branding of its troubled sponsor FTX at this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

The cryptocurrency exchange suffered a collapse in value this week after users began withdrawing their funds en masse. Up to £5.1 billion ($6bn) is reported to have been taken out in the space of three days.

A potential rescue deal involving rival cryptocurrency exchange Binance, which sponsors Alpine, fell apart on Wednesday. That has raised serious concerns over the future of FTX.

Mercedes announced in September last year it had formed a “long-term relationship” with the cryptocurrency exchange which would “span multiple race seasons with the FTX logo being featured prominently on both the cars and the drivers.” It has carried their logos since then.

The FTX logos appear on the nose, cockpit and rear wing end plates of Mercedes’ W13 cars (pictured above in Mexico). One of its noses was spotted without its usual FTX decal at the Interlagos circuit on Thursday, but RaceFans understands the team intends to display the FTX branding as usual when practice begins at the circuit tomorrow.

FTX also launched a range of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) in conjunction with Mercedes at the Miami Grand Prix earlier this year. FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who said last year the Mercedes deal would “continue amplifying our position as the leading global cryptocurrency exchange”, today apologised for the company’s troubles in a lengthy social media post.

“Right now, we’re spending the week doing everything we can to raise liquidity,” he said. “I can’t make any promises about that. But I’m going to try. And give anything I have to if that will make it work.”

“At the end of the day, I was CEO, which means that I was responsible for making sure that things went well,” he added. “I, ultimately, should have been on top of everything. I clearly failed in that. I’m sorry.”

Update: Mercedes to remove FTX logos after suspending sponsorship deal

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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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17 comments on “Mercedes keep logos of crisis-hit crypto brand FTX on their F1 cars in Brazil”

  1. A crypto disaster? That’s unheard of! I’m completely certain there isn’t a small group of men who made hundreds of millions each at the expense of everyone else.

    And, remember guys, fortune favors the bold…

    1. At least all their dupes, sorry clients, had a good time being fictional billionaires for a New York minute.

  2. I’d find it absolutely hilarious if sprints were cancelled because crypto.dodgy failed to deliver sponsorship funds.

    1. That would be just… chef’s kiss

  3. They’ve run short of – cash?

  4. Keeping the logo on display when FTX is not accepting new users, processing withdrawals, and even discourages deposits, reflects badly on the team. They should suspend the advertising temporarily while FTX solves it’s problems…. just like Rich Energy solved their problems.

    1. The last thing you want if you risk not getting your payment is being in contract breach and give an excuse for not being paid at all (or having to pay back if they were smart enough to have prepayment).
      If the ads are already paid for, then it’s not Mercedes decision to remove them really.

  5. It’s been a hell of a week for schadenfreude. Elon’s Twitter purchase is blowing up in his face. Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal called Trump the biggest loser from Tuesdays elections, and now a crypto exchange which participated in dodgy business practices for years has revealed how just how shaky the foundation of cryptocurrency really is.

  6. “I was very much aware and watching very closely all the families that were affected by what happened there and we know there’s been a huge outcry and an amazing amount of support from people in the community around there.”

    Beautiful words by Sir Lewis Hamilton about this situation… Oh sorry, wrong sponsor hahaha, money laundering is great as is avoiding paying taxes!

    1. Don’t go throwing those stones too far at Lewis. Red Bull is sponsored by Bybit, which is another crypto exchange similar to FTX.

      1. They’re all up to their necks in it, because F1 teams have repeatedly show themselves as businesses who will happily chase and spend money without asking a) where it comes from or b) if it actually exists.

      2. Engaging with this guy is a waste of time. He went full Ham/Max derangement syndrome a wile ago. Lost cause

  7. I don’t think it is a good idea crashing at the rear of the car.

  8. Mercedes turning up to Brazil with a problematic rear wing for the second year in a row.

    1. Mercedes turning up to Brazil with a problematic rear wing for the second year in a row.

      Small quip aside, I’m not sure if you’d want to go there.
      One race, Merc, with a badly fitted part (as noted by the FIA) on one car allowed one side of the rear wing to flex more than it should.
      Merc were not allowed to remediate. Penalty applied.

      RBR, all season, had a wing that flexed so much it kept vibrating and cracking. RBR allowed to repair every time and even change the whole wing on occasions. No penalty applied.

      Then there’s the RBR 2021 catering budget to consider.

  9. Some say crisis, some say fraud and corruption.

    As a brand you wouldn’t want to be associated with that. And as Mercedes and the scandals they have had the past years with Uygurs and such, its something you don’t want to touch with 60ft pole.

  10. Mercedes removes FTX logos!

Comments are closed.