Lewis Hamilton distances himself from Mercedes’ new controversial sponsor Kingspan amid firm’s alleged links with the Grenfell Tower fire disaster, as survivors’ group describes the deal as ‘truly shocking’

  • Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton spoke about his “unfortunate association” with the company.
  • Kingspan logos can also be found on the front of Mercedes cars in support of the Saudi Arabian GP
  • The branding on Hamilton’s car is a deal believed to be worth up to £3million 
  • But government plans could see them removed for the British Grand Prix in 2022
  • In June 2017, 72 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire. 

Lewis Hamilton has reluctantly distanced himself from Mercedes’ sponsorship deal with Kingspan, a firm that made combustible insulation for Grenfell Tower.

World champion Max Verstappen, his opponent, drove into a wall while he was about to set the fastest lap. He claimed pole for Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Monaco’s driver was visibly annoyed by the topic and he bowed his head when pressed later.

Kingspan’s links in the fire of June 2017 is the subject of a public inquiry – yet Hamilton is driving around Jeddah’s road circuit with the firm’s branding on his car in a deal believed to be worth up to £3million.

Hamilton, who took pole for Sunday’s race, said: ‘It is not something that I feel I have to speak about publicly. 

Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton has spoken about his 'unfortunate association' with Kingspan

Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton spoke out about his “unfortunate relationship” with Kingspan.

Company's logo can be seen at the front of Mercedes' grand prix cars at the Saudi Arabian GP

At the Saudi Arabian GP, you can see the logo of our company at the front Mercedes Grand Prix cars.

‘I had nothing to do with the team signing any of the sponsors. Tommy Hilfiger (the only one that I likely brought) was my teammate.

‘It was news to me when I heard this week. I watched all of the families that were affected by what had happened closely and was acutely aware.

‘We know there has been a huge outcry and an amazing amount of support by people in the community.

‘It is really nothing to do with me and I know Toto (Wolff, the team principal) is sorting it. Unfortunately my name is associated with it because it has been on my car, but whether that remains the same, we will see.’ 

Kingspan’s links in the Grenfell Tower fire of June 2017 is the subject of a public inquiry

Kingspan’s links in the Grenfell Tower fire of June 2017 is the subject of a public inquiry

But Mercedes may see the advert banned at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2022

Mercedes could see its advertisement banned in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone 2022

Hamilton’s belated concern comes after Mercedes’ repeated insistence that Kingspan will remain on their cars this weekend, despite survivors’ group Grenfell United describing the deal as ‘truly shocking’ and demanding its immediate withdrawal.

Mercedes may yet be backed into a U-turn not least with Michael Gove, the Housing Secretary, indicating the Government are looking whether to ban the advert from running at Silverstone during next year’s British Grand Prix.

Wolff has written to Grenfell United to apologise for the ‘additional hurt’ the arrangement has caused.

Lawyers for the bereaved families have said Kingspan sold flammable materials that they knew ‘were dangerous to life’, though the firm was not primarily responsible for the fire.