The Haas Formula 1 team is not involved in its sponsor Rich Energy’s ongoing dispute with Whyte Bikes over the use of its stag logo.

Rich Energy, which became the title sponsor of Haas prior to the 2019 F1 season, lost a legal battle over its stag logo after being adjudged to have copied the design of British cycling company Whyte Bikes.

The energy drink firm lost the court case earlier this month, though its branding and logo has remained on Haas’ F1 cars, team kit and motorhome for the Monaco Grand Prix.

“The logo situation for us is we were told when we need to change something, they will tell us,” Haas team principal Guenther Steiner explained.

“I didn’t go into it. For sure we check that everything is OK, but we’re doing everything to what they tell us.

“We don’t have a problem with the logo. Rich Energy has a problem with the logo. I don’t know if they need to change it or if there is another solution to it, I’m not getting involved in their issues because they don’t need me to sort that one out.

“For here [Monaco], we were told to keep the logo like it is, and if there’s any other distraction coming, we are ready for it."

Despite Whyte Bikes using an image of Haas’ F1 car in their press statements, Steiner does not feel his team is being directly dragged into the row.

“It’s an easy way for Whyte Bikes to get a bit of publicity, putting an F1 car on there without paying for it, so fair play to them,” he said.

“We [Haas] are not actively dragged into it because we didn’t do anything wrong. Our car is on there, but they didn’t say Haas did anything wrong so I can’t even complain about that.

“They didn’t accuse us of doing anything wrong. The logo is on the F1 car, they put the logo on the car, more people see it. It’s the power of F1, it’s actually a good thing, how much publicity - negative or positive you can get.

“It shows the potential of a sponsorship in F1, how much it does for a company. I’m not upset about it, they have just used it to their advantage.”

The ruling was critical of Rich Energy CEO William Storey, but Steiner stressed he has no concerns about his team’s image being damaged.

“It’s associated with our sponsor. A sponsor which is on our car. I prefer not to judge people on what they say and what they do.

“As you all know, I’m very liberal on that stuff. I’m not trying to say you did it wrong or right, that’s not my position in life to do.

“The judge had an opinion, as far as I understand - and it’s not coming from me - will appeal the verdict so I think we have to wait until everything is done and then come to a conclusion.

“If the judge judges William like this, what can I do about it? He hasn’t done anything bad to me. He’s done what he said he was going to do.

“Is it bad for us? I don’t really think so because the brand Rich Energy is bigger than William Storey. I’ll wait till it’s all over.”



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