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Formula 1

02nd Dec 2021

Lewis Hamilton facing protests from Grenfell survivors over car sponsorship deal

Callum Boyle

The new deal will see Hamilton’s car carry branding of the company that made combustible boards for the tower

Lewis Hamilton is facing protests from survivors of the Grenfell disaster over a sponsorship deal which will see him race with the branding of a company who made combustible boards for the tower.

The Guardian reports that survivors have described the new deal as ‘truly shocking’ after Hamilton’s team, Mercedes, named Kingspan as an official partner in a deal which will see their name featured on their cars during Formula One races.

Families who suffered bereavements and survivors of the 2017 disaster, which claimed the lives of 72 people, have now called for Mercedes to drop their newly agreed partnership.

In a letter penned to Mercedes’ team principal Totto Wolff, the survivors’ group Grenfell United said: “Kingspan played a central role in inflicting the pain and suffering that we feel today, and there must be a degree of public censure for Kingspan’s recklessness and carelessness for human life.”

The letter then called on him to “immediately sever your relationship” with Kingspan.

It comes after Hamilton himself has previously emphasised his support for all who suffered in the disaster, taking to his Instagram three years to the day after the incident to say: “Today marks three years since the horrific Grenfell Tower fire in London. Remembering the 72 souls we lost and their loved ones, and everyone affected by this tragedy. #justiceforgrenfell.”

Nabil Choucair, who lost six family members in the fire, branded Mercedes’ decision to partner with Kingspan as ‘disgusting.’

He said: “I am very disappointed that someone who says he supports us, wants to advertise Kingspan who contributed to the loss of innocent lives, he should not accept it.

“You can’t support the community and say you respect the deceased and families and still take sponsorship like this.”

Mercedes meanwhile have also released a statement, stressing that their drivers have no say on any sponsorship deals that are made.

They said: “Our partner Kingspan has supported, and continues to support, the vitally important work of the inquiry to determine what went wrong and why in the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Our new partnership announced this week is centred on sustainability, and will support us in achieving our targets in this area.”

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