A Formula One team would rather avoid a car crashing than anything else. But Mercedes has just managed to crash its entire UK brand — or will do unless it swerves, fast.

Mercedes Formula One reported last week it signed a sponsorship deal to Kingspan in Ireland. You are welcome to the team! This partnership is exciting for the two last races of the 2021 season.

Kingspan has the cash to spend. Last year, it reported trading profits exceeding 500 million euro.

But, as anyone knows who has been paying the slightest attention to the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire (pictured), in which 72 people were killed, it's a building materials firm with a toxic record

However, anyone who paid any attention to the Grenfell Tower Fire investigation (pictured), which claimed 72 lives, knows that it was a construction materials company with a toxic history.

It is, however, a hazardous building materials company, according to anyone who’s paid attention to the Grenfell Tower fire investigation in which 72 victims were killed.

Cross-examination revealed that some of the inflammable cladding was installed on the tower. Executives were also found to be dishonest and unscrupulous in their claims for product safety.

Grenfell United representing victims’ families declared Mercedes’ decision not to place the Kingspan logo onto the Mercedes’ nose ‘truly disturbing’. Hamilton himself has used #JusticeforGrenfell as a hashtag on his social media accounts in the past. He merely stated that he does not participate in sponsoring decisions.

It is not surprising that Grenfell United, which represents families of the victims, declared Mercedes' decision to put the Kingspan logo on the nose of Lewis Hamilton's car 'truly shocking'

Grenfell United, a group representing victims’ families, found it not surprising that Mercedes placed the Kingspan logo on Lewis Hamilton’s nose.


Mercedes was shocked when Michael Gove the Housing and Communities secretary, sent out a statement condemning the sponsorship deal.

Later documents from his office revealed that they had observed: “Since 2017’s fire, the companies [involved in the Grenfell cladding scandal] have awarded pay packages and bonuses to directors worth £335 million [but] we can find no evidence of any contribution whatsoever by these companies to remediate historic fire safety defects which is clearly completely unacceptable in a context where the taxpayer has provided £5.1 billion through the building safety fund and leaseholders are facing significant costs.’

What was Toto Wolff’s initial reaction to this? His team had discussed with Kingspan the role of Kingspan’s products in Grenfell. He also stated that they had informed them that only a small percentage of their product had been used in a system that was not in compliance with building regulations.

But it will have come as a shock to Mercedes that Michael Gove, the Housing and Communities Secretary, issued a public letter condemning the sponsorship deal

Mercedes will be shocked to learn that Michael Gove (the Housing and Communities Secretary) sent a letter in which he condemned the sponsorship agreement

As Grenfell United retorted in an open letter to Mr Wolff: ‘By only asking Kingspan for their account of their involvement you are, in essence asking them to mark their own homework — a system which led to Grenfell in the first place.’

Celotex provided the bulk of the inflammable, lethal cladding used on the Tower. Kingspan was the first to use combustible foam-based roofing cladding in high-rise buildings. They even managed mass marketing a product that had already failed its fire safety check.

A company internal document revealed that insulation was “burning on its own steam” even after flames were extinguished. Kingspan acknowledged to the inquiry that it kept the test results secret and sold the insulation for high-rise use.

You may well be asking why on earth did Mercedes want to have Kingspan's logo (pictured) on its cars, even for any amount of sponsorship money?

Mercedes wanted Kingspan’s logo (see pictured) on their cars for sponsorship money.

Kingspan attempted to convince MPs and ministers, even after Grenfell’s horror, that its foam cladding is as safe as possible by providing them with tests it conducted using insulation from Rockwool. This wire-based insulation was less combustible, but was still more efficient than Kingspan’s. This was done to make Rockwool products appear less dangerous. Or, as the Grenfell Inquiry’s counsel, Richard Millett, put it to the Kingspan production manager Adrian Pargeter, who had actually been promoted since the fire: ‘Kingspan, even in the face of an investigation into fire safety after Grenfell, was doing its best to ensure that science was perverted for financial gain… Did you see the aftermath of the Grenfell fire as something of a commercial opportunity?’

Mercedes wanted Kingspan’s logo to be on their cars for sponsorship money. The reason is Kingspan’s website. It declares its mission to “accelerate a net zero”. [carbon]It is a future that puts the health and well-being people and the environment at its core’.

Grenfell’s cladding was done to conform with the new regulations requiring high-rise blocks to burn more fossil fuel and be more “thermally efficient”.

Toto Wolff (pictured) insisted that before signing the deal, his team had 'engaged with Kingspan in depth to understand what role their products played in what happened at Grenfell'

Toto Wolff (pictured) insists that before signing the contract, his team had “engaged in depth with Kingspan and understood what their products contributed to what happened in Grenfell”.


However, such cladding has had a negative effect on the environment due to Kingspan’s manipulation of the system. Kingspan threatened the regulators with lawsuit if the product was not approved for use in high-rise buildings. This did little to stop global warming and instead contributed to the mass incineration of Londoners.

Mercedes F1 was aware of the negative criticisms of motorsport businesses that burn large quantities of now-despised fossilfuels and saw Kingspan with their’mission for acceleration net zero emissions’ as a useful tool in greenwashing.

Toto Wolff may not be aware that he is in danger of incinerating his own brand, even though he seems to have realized it late. Asked yesterday whether he would cancel the sponsorship deal with Kingspan, the Mercedes F1 boss said: ‘We’ve initiated a dialogue with some of the community of the bereaved families and survivors of Grenfell … we are looking at it with a matter of urgency … we just want to do the right thing with integrity.’

Integrity! Integrity! At high speeds, it must make a U-turn.