The survivors’ group of the Grenfell Tower fire has written to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to ask the reigning Formula One champions to end their sponsorship deal with building materials company Kingspan.
Kingspan made some of the insulation cladding used on the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower, which caught fire on June 14, 2017, killing 72 people. A public enquiry found Kingspan continued to supply cladding despite tests showing they burned “like a raging inferno” when exposed to fire.
The public enquiry also found company executives ignored customer safety concerns over the cladding.
This week Mercedes named Kingspan as an official partner of the team, meaning the company’s name and logo will appear on the car at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
According to the Guardian, survivors’ group Grenfell United wrote to Wolff asking him to “immediately sever your relationship” with Kingspan.
The letter went on to say: “Kingspan played a central role in inflicting the pain and suffering that we feel today, and there must be a degree of public censure for Kingspan’s recklessness and carelessness for human life.”
Michael Gove, Britain’s Secretary of State for Housing and Communities, tweeted: “Deeply disappointed that @MercedesAMGF1 are accepting sponsorship from cladding firm Kingspan while the Grenfell Inquiry is ongoing. I will be writing to Mercedes to ask them to reconsider. The Grenfell community deserves better.”
A Mercedes statement said: “Our partner Kingspan has supported, and continues to support, the vitally important work of the inquiry to determine what went wrong and why in the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
“Our new partnership announced this week is centred on sustainability, and will support us in achieving our targets in this area.”
Mercedes driver and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has shown support for the Grenfell community on a number of occasions, having tweeted on anniversaries of the disaster.