The Mercedes Formula 1 team have announced that their brief partnership with Irish insulation group Kingspan has ended following an outcry from survivors of the Grenfell Tower Fire.
The partnership was announced last week, with Kingspan tasked with chairing a sustainability group for the Mercedes team, centering on the aim of reducing carbon emissions.
The Cavan company's branding appeared on the Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas for the first time last weekend at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, a race won by Hamilton, with Bottas finishing third.
However, the deal has been ended ahead of the season's final race in Abu Dhabi, with Mercedes-AMG Petronas releasing a statement saying the companies "have mutually agreed to end their partnership".
Kingspan have released a statement saying the decision to end the partnership was a mutual one
"We are deeply aware of the sensitivities raised in recent days, and so we have jointly agreed that it's not appropriate to move forward at the current point in time," the statement read.
When announced, the deal sparked an immediate backlash from survivors of the Grenfell disaster. Grenfell United, representing survivors of the blaze, had written to Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff, describing the partnership as "truly shocking."
Some Kingspan insulation material had been used in the refurbishment of the Grenfell Tower block in West London, before a fire in June 2017 which killed 72 people.
In his written reply to the Grenfell group, Wolff apologised for "the additional hurt that this announcement has caused" and said Mercedes had engaged with the company "in depth" prior to the deal to understand any part their products played in the disaster, and were assured they had no role in the design or construction of the cladding system.
"I know that this does not change in any way the awful tragedy you suffered, or the deep and ongoing pain felt in your community," wrote Wolff.
UK housing minister Michael Gove had also called on Mercedes to re-consider the deal, saying it was "deeply disappointed" Mercedes were accepting sponsorship from Kingspan while an inquiry into the Grenfell disaster was ongoing.
This morning, Mercedes confirmed that the deal had been ended in a statement on Twitter.
"The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team and Kingspan today announced that they have mutually agreed to end their partnership.
"Announced last week, the new partnership included Kingspan chairing a new Sustainability Working Group for the team, and aimed to deliver carbon reductions through their leading edge environmentally sustainable solutions for the team's future campus.
"However, both parties have subsequently concluded that it is not appropriate for the partnership to move forward at the current point in time, notwithstanding its intended positive impact and we have therefore concluded that it will be discontinued with immediate effect."
The company said last week it had no role in the design of the cladding system on Grenfell Tower, where its K15 product constituted approximately 5% of the insulation.
It added that this "was used as a substitute product without Kingspan's knowledge in a system that was not compliant with the buildings regulations".
The company also has long sponsorship partnerships with both Ulster Rugby and Cavan GAA.