Haas team’s controversial title sponsor Rich Energy remains on the team’s cars at Spa-Francorchamps where the second-half of the Formula 1 season begins with the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.
Prior to the August break, Rich Energy’s boss was locked in a dispute with fellow shareholders and firing off barbs about Haas’ 2019 car, which at one point he described as a “milk float”.
Team boss Gunther Steiner said the matter would be resolved over the break, but at Spa, the elusive British energy drink’s branding remains on the black and gold car.
“The people there have calmed down a bit, now let’s see what happens next,” Steiner told reporters at Spa. “For starters, it was important for everybody to calm down so that rational decisions can be made. We will do what is required of us, perhaps at a meeting in London next week.”
The main issue seems to be that Rich Energy boss William Storey originally declared that he had “terminated” the Haas deal.
Steiner said at Spa: “I don’t want to go into details of the contract, but first they need to decide if they are going to continue to cooperate with us. I have nothing to do with that. I have enough to do.”
But Steiner admitted that the saga looks unlikely to be resolved by the next race at Monza, “I think afterwards. Monza is already next week, so there’s not enough time to do everything that has to be done.”
Meanwhile, multiple sources are reporting that Storey has used his majority shareholding at Rich Energy to regain control of the company – now named Lightning Volt – which suggests that the ZZ-Top lookalike is heading back to the F1 paddock! Watch this space?