The Mercedes Formula 1 team said on Thursday they were keeping the branding of troubled cryptocurrency exchange FTX on their cars at this weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil while watching developments.
FTX, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, has been buffeted by a rush of customer withdrawals and is scrambling to raise about $9.4 billion from investors and rivals, a source said on Thursday.
Mercedes, then the reigning Formula 1 Champions, signed a sponsorship deal with FTX in September, 2021.
A team spokesman said they were evaluating the situation and branding would be staying on the race cars of seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton and fellow-Briton George Russell for the time being.
The weekend’s race at Interlagos is the penultimate round of the season, which finishes in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 20.
Earlier this year, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff commented on the deal with FTX; he said: “You can’t shut yourself down to modern technology. It’s definitely an area that will grow.
“When we are looking back in 10 years’ time, having to make payments that take two days and can’t be done outside of week hours, it is something that’s going to be a relic of the past. And this is where cryptocurrencies are coming,” he added.
Reports revealed that FTX had a chance to be bailed out by Binance, a rival crypto currency exchange company that sponsors Mercedes’ rivals Alpine.
Binance said in a statement: “In the beginning, our hope was to be able to support FTX’s customers to provide liquidity, but the issues are beyond our control or ability to help.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, Additional reporting by GrandPrix247)