It’s perhaps the least surprising announcement since the relationship began, Haas F1 officially proclaimed the sponsorship deal with Rich Energy is ending with immediate effect.
“Haas F1 Team and Rich Energy have amicably agreed to end their partnership together in the FIA Formula One World Championship with immediate effect,” a statement read.
“While enjoying substantial brand recognition and significant exposure through its title partnership of Haas F1 Team in 2019, a corporate restructuring process at Rich Energy will see the need for a revised global strategy.
“Subsequently, Haas F1 Team and Rich Energy concluded a termination of the existing partnership was the best way forward for both parties.”
The original sponsorship deal was met with scratched heads, chin-stroking and confusion to begin with as no one in the paddock knew who Rich Energy were or where this entity came from with the kind of cash needed to be a title sponsor of an F1 team. There was confusion over just what Haas F1 would get from this arrangement given the reason Gene Has said he entered F1 was to promote his Haas CNC machines.
The slow, embarrassing unraveling of Rich Energy’s Williams Storey and his comical tweets as well as the logo lawsuit and his eventual ouster by the executive board only added to the drama that I am sure Haas F1 did not sign up for.
What we do know is that Gene Haas has learned a valuable lesson in F1 sponsorship deals. I would imagine he has a lot of stories to tell about his NASCAR sponsorship deals in the past too but this particular storey, pardon the pun, may eclipse them all.