Mercedes F1 deal with Grenfell insulation firm described as ‘deeply disrespectful’

Formula One team Mercedes has been branded “deeply disrespectful” after signing a partnership deal with a firm behind some of the insulation installed in Grenfell Tower.

Shadow levelling-up secretary Lisa Nandy said she hoped Lewis Hamilton, who drives for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, is making his views “clearly known” to those who made the decision about the deal with Kingspan.

Her remarks come after communities secretary Michael Gove said he would write to the Mercedes team to ask it to reconsider the deal, adding it was “deeply disappointing” it had accepted the sponsorship.

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Mercedes' driver Lewis Hamilton. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.Mercedes' driver Lewis Hamilton. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.
Mercedes' driver Lewis Hamilton. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

Kingspan’s K15 insulation was one of the products installed on Grenfell Tower during its refurbishment, although the majority of the insulation used on the west London tower block was made by another company.

An inquiry is examining how Grenfell Tower came to be coated in flammable materials which contributed to the spread of flames which shot up the tower in June 2017, killing 72 people.

Ms Nandy said she supported Mr Gove in his criticism, but has written to him asking him to “take the same principled stance in relation to the decision by the Conservative Party to take millions of pounds in donations from property developers responsible for flats that have been covered in the same dangerous ACM cladding” since the fire in 2017.

On Kingspan, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “I couldn’t support him more. I was really heartened to see the very swift response from him criticising the decision.

“It’s an act of solidarity with a group of people who’ve been badly, badly let down for many, many years.”

Asked if she thinks Hamilton should speak out about those who sponsor his team, Ms Nandy told the programme: “I think the key point is that it’s not his decision and I hope that he is making his views clearly known to the people who have made this decision.

“Lewis Hamilton has been an ally of the Grenfell community. He’s spoken out about this issue before.

“I suspect he will be doing that behind the scenes.”