Wolff dealing with Mercedes Grenfell situation “with a matter of urgency” as Hamilton hints at change
Wolff has vowed to “come up with the right solution” following calls for the insulation company to be axed given its links to the Grenfell Tower disaster, even though it claims it played no causative role in the fire that killed 72 people.
The backlash has been considerable, with British MP Michael Gove, who is Secretary of State of the department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, expressing “deep disappointment” at Mercedes’ decision to accept sponsorship from Kingspan.
The tie-up has resulted in the logo of the company featuring on the nose of the W12 cars driven by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Wolff has apologised for the “hurt” caused and has agreed to meet with members of Grenfell United, a group that consists of survivors, the bereaved and members of the wider community.
Asked a number of questions on the matter in his media session post-qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Wolff said: “In my letter, I apologised for the pain that was caused by this announcement.
“It’s something where there’s a lot of learning for me personally.
“What I want to say is we’ve initiated a dialogue with some of the community, with the bereaved families and the survivors of the Grenfell tragedy to better understand the pain it’s caused.
“That process is just the beginning and we would like to wish for privacy while it’s ongoing. We are looking at it with a matter of urgency.”
Hamilton says “we shall see” on Kingspan removal
After claiming pole position for the inaugural race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Hamilton was asked for his opinion on the matter, particularly with the Kingspan logo on his car.
Hamilton said: “It was news to me when I heard things had happened this week.
“I was very much aware, and watching closely, all the families that were affected by what happened there.
“We know there has been a huge outcry and an amazing amount of support from people for the community around there.
“It [the sponsorship deal] really doesn’t have anything to do with me. I know Toto is sorting it.
“Unfortunately, my name is associated with it because it [the logo] is on my car. But whether that remains the same we shall see.”
Responding to Hamilton’s remarks, Wolff refused to deny ties with Kingspan could be severed.
“We have discussed that [the deal] with the important people,” added Wolff. “We will reach out to Kingspan and come up with the right solution.
“There is a contractual agreement that’s behind these things. We want to just do the right thing and we want to do the right thing with integrity.”