Disgraced sponsor refuses to cut ties with Max Verstappen

Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo have recently been the centre of a money laundering investigation.

Money is key in Formula 1, with both teams and drivers relying on sponsors to continue their existence and to thrive in the sport.

One of Max Verstappen’s sponsors is Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo, who will continue to back the Dutchman this year despite a highly controversial end to 2022.

The CEO of the supermarket chain Fritz van Eerd found himself embroiled in a money laundering investigation in September, plunging the future of the company into doubt.

At the time, Verstappen and his manager refused to comment too much on the situation, suggesting that they would prefer to allow the investigation to run its course before they made a decision on their future with the sponsor.

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In the wake of the investigation, the new Jumbo boss Ton van Veen explained that the company had been forced to rethink their dealing and involvements, hinting that motorsport may be something that they step away from.

Jumbo have since cut ties with every single motorsport activity, except for one, their sponsorship of reigning Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen.

“We will take a critical look at our activities in motorsport,” said Van Veen to Algemeen Dagblad newspaper.

“The exception is the contract with Max Verstappen.”

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The support and backing for Max Verstappen in the Netherlands is quite phenomenal, with the grandstands being filled with a sea of orange every time Formula 1 travels to Zandvoort or any other nearby circuits, such as the Red Bull Ring or Spa.

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The Dutchman will be looking to resolve any issues with his sponsors before pre-season begins in a few weeks in Bahrain, as Verstappen will most likely face a much sterner test to defend his title than he did last year.

The 25-year-old was able to capitalise of the struggles of Ferrari and Mercedes to cruise to a second consecutive title, having taken his battle with Lewis Hamilton right down to the wire the year before.

With Red Bull’s cost cap breach penalty taking effect this year, the energy drink giants will have to use every ounce of their knowledge and experience to keep themselves at the top of the timing screens.