11 July 2019
The Haas story - updated
The odd story of Haas and the Rich Energy sponsorship has left the Formula 1 Paddock scratching heads about what on earth is going on, not least because the cars are still liveried and there are no plans to change that - and because the team is saying very little.
This means that, despite all the rumours after Rich Energy’s announcement, the deal is still in place and judging by the team’s behaviour there is not a problem between the team and the sponsor. Could it be a legal move in case things end up in court? No, because there is clear evidence that Rich Energy has terminated the deal and if the team wanted to, it could stop the sponsorship straight away. So, the only logical conclusion is that there is something going on inside Rich Energy. We really don’t know much about the company. The man behind the business is William Storey, an attention-seeking ZZ Top-lookalike figure who put together a consortium of wealthy individuals to launch an energy drink and to use F1 to promote it. The team has bank guarantees and so the backers must have money because banks don’t do things like that without serious evidence of cash.
Thus one can speculate that perhaps the problem lies between Storey and his backers. Storey appears to have dropped off the planet but we expect to hear more as the weekend progresses. Whatever the case, it’s a weird story... in the finest tradition of Weird F1 sponsors.
There has since been a statement from the Rich Energy shareholders: “Clearly the rogue actions of one individual have caused great embarrassment. We are in the process of legally removing the individual from all executive responsibilities."
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