Lewis Hamilton has distanced himself from his Formula One team’s partnership agreement with Kingspan, an insulation company linked to the Grenfell Tower fire, saying it had nothing to do with the decision.
He also questioned the maintenance of the Kingspan brand on his Mercedes car.
Hamilton is competing for Mercedes at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend, and a Kingspan logo first appeared on his car during qualifying on Saturday.
Speaking for the first time on the issue at a press conference after the qualifying session, Hamilton said: “It’s not something I think I should talk about publicly,” he said. “I had nothing to do with the team that signed one of the sponsors. Tommy [Hilfiger] was the only one I probably brought to the team.
“It was news for me when I heard the things that happened this week and I was very aware and observed closely all the families affected by what happened there. We know there has been a huge outcry and an incredible amount of support from people in the community around us. “
Mercedes-AMG Petronas team principal Toto Wolff on Friday apologized to Grenfell survivors and bereaved relatives, and thanked the Grenfell United campaign group for an offer to meet after his conviction of the deal with Kingspan.
“It really has nothing to do with me and I know Toto takes care of it,” said Hamilton.
He also suggested that the Kingspan logo could be removed from his car. “Unfortunately my name is associated with it because it was on my car, but if it stays the same we’ll see,” he said.
The seven-time world champion has already posted an article about the Grenfell Tower fire on his Instagram account. On the anniversary of the fire in 2020, he said: “Remember the 72 souls we lost and their loved ones, and all those affected by this tragedy. “
Housing Secretary Michael Gove said on Thursday the government could change the advertising rules for racing cars if Mercedes did not withdraw the partnership with Kingspan.
The ongoing public inquiry into the 2017 fire examines the company’s involvement in the tragedy.
He heard how Kingspan changed the makeup of their foam boards, which tests showed they burned “like hell raging,” but his company continued to use a previous test and sold them for use on. buildings across the UK, including Grenfell.
Kingspan’s K15 insulation was one of the products installed on the Grenfell Tower during its renovation, although the majority of the insulation used on the West London Tower was manufactured by another company.
In a statement on Friday, Kingspan said it “played no role in the design of the Grenfell Tower cladding system, where its K15 product made up about 5% of the insulation and was used as a product for insulation. substitution without Kingspan’s knowledge in a system that did not comply with building regulations.
“The new partnership with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team reflects the ambitious sustainability goals of both organizations. “