KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - Rich Energy, the British-based energy drink firm and title sponsor for the Kannapolis-based Rich Energy Haas Formula One race team is terminating its sponsorship of the team according to multiple media reports.
According to motorsport.com, the announcement was made by Rich Energy on Twitter. The full text of the tweet read as follows: “Today @rich_energy terminated our contract with @HaasF1Team for poor performance. We aim to beat @redbullracing & being behind @WilliamsRacing in Austria is unacceptable. The politics and PC attitude in @F1 is also inhibiting our business. We wish the team well.”
The Haas cars, driven by Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, qualified fifth and 11th and finished 16th and 19th in the Austrian GP after struggling with tire issues.
“Unfortunately this race weekend was the worst since we started the team," said Team Principal Guenther Steiner following the race. "We need to try to find a way out of our issues. This is not where we want to be.”
Some Rich Energy shareholders are disputing the claim that the sponsorship is terminated, according to motorsport.com. The team arrived at Silverstone for the British GP still carrying Rich Energy branding on uniforms and vehicles.
The Haas team responded with the following statement on Twitter: “Rich Energy is currently the title partner of Haas F1 Team. I cannot comment further on the contractual relationship between our two parties due to commercial confidentiality.” – Guenther Steiner, Team Principal.
The Haas team is currently in position 9 out of 10 in the FIA Formula One standings with 16 points, ahead of Williams Racing in 10th. Mercedes leads the filed with 363 points.
The team is now preparing for the 10th round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship – the British Grand Prix July 12-14 at Silverstone Circuit in England.
The team made its debut in the FIA Formula One World Championship in 2016, becoming the first American Formula One team since 1986.
The team is owned by Gene Haas and is located on the campus of Stewart-Haas Racing in Kannapolis. Haas is the founder of Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America, and he is chairman of Rich Energy Haas F1 Team.