The Haas F1 Team has dropped its title sponsor's stag logo following a legal dispute.
The British energy drinks company Rich Energy signed a title sponsor deal with the American F1 team for the 2019 season, with its logos taking up prominent placement on the VF19, including the engine cover, halo, nose, front-wing and endplates.
However the company has been embroiled in a copyright infringement case over its use of a stylised stag's head and last month lost a high court battle to continue using it, with British bicycle company Whyte Bikes claiming its very similar logo had been ripped off.
The judge agreed with Whyte's claim and accused Rich Energy CEO William Storey of "manufacturing" evidence to support his case.
"I am satisfied that some of Mr Storey’s evidence was incorrect or misleading and that he was involved in the manufacture of documents during the course of litigation to provide additional support for the Defendants’ case," stated judge Melissa Clarke.
Although Rich Energy made clear its intention to appeal the decision, it has asked the team to drop the logo from both cars, instead using just its company name.
"We have asked our partners, HaasF1Team, to remove [the] stag element from [the] car this weekend. Whilst we own the stag trademarks and registrations worldwide Inc Canada we don't want any media circus for [the] team whilst we contest [this] baseless case with Whyte Bikes and win," the company wrote on its social media.