Mercedes and Kingspan mutually agree to end partnership

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Mercedes has terminated its short-lived sponsorship agreement with Irish insulation firm Kingspan in the wake of the criticism expressed by victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Mercedes had announced its partnership with Kingspan last week in Saudi Arabia, with the company's name and logo appearing on the bodywork of the Brackley squad's W12.

However, the deal ā€“ worth a reputed Ā£4 million-a-year ā€“ was denounced by the Grenfell United group that is made up of the families and surviving victims of the horrendous fire in June 2017 in which 72 people lost their life.

The public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire is still ongoing and has yet to determine Kingspan's responsibility.

The Irish company which is supporting the inquiry has said that it played no role in the design of the cladding system on Grenfell Tower.

But the sensitive nature of the proceedings surrounding the 2017 tragedy and the victims' reaction pressured both Mercedes and Kingspan to rethink their collaboration.

"The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and Kingspan today announced that they have mutually agreed to end their partnership," said Mercedes in a statement published on Wednesday.

"Announced last week, the new partnership included Kingspan chairing a new Sustainability Working Group for the team, and aimed to deliver carbon reductions through their leading-edge environmentally sustainable solutions for the team's future campus.

"However, both parties have subsequently concluded that it is not appropriate for the partnership to move forward at the current point in time, notwithstanding its intended positive impact, and we have therefore agreed that it will be discontinued with immediate effect."

In Jeddah, Mercedes team boss addressed the bereaving victims criticism, apologizing to the latter but initially defending his team's partnership with Kingspan.

Last weekend, championship contender Lewis Hamilton also attempted to distance himself from the partnership, insisting the sponsorship had "nothing to do with me".

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