Whilst Mercedes were left to celebrate George Russell’s maiden Formula 1 victory and the team’s first of 2022 at the Brazilian Grand Prix, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Germans, who had to remove a sponsor prior to the weekend.
Mercedes removed all FTX branding from the W13’s and other assets, after the crypto company filed for bankruptcy following the collapse of the crypto exchange.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who is a firm believer in crypto, was left in “utter disbelief” that the Bahamas-based company were left filing for bankruptcy, after deeming FTX to be one of the most “credible and solid” companies in the crypto industry.
The company announced their decision on Friday after a large number of customers withdrew their assets, leaving the site with no other choice.
“FTX is currently unable to process withdrawals,” an official FTX statement read.
“We strongly advise against depositing. Deposits of TRX, BTT, JST, SUN, and HT are disabled. All onboarding of new clients has been suspended until further notice.”
Whilst Mercedes’ partnership hasn’t officially ended, it has been suspended as a result, which is why all FTX branding has been removed.
Wolff wasn’t actually at the Brazilian GP whilst the whole incident was taking place but did share a few words on how disappointed he is for the company, who he deems as being “very unfortunate”.
“But this situation is very unfortunate. We considered FTX because they were one of the most credible and solid, financially sound partners that were out there,” Wolff said, via grandprix247.com.
“And out of nowhere we can see that a crypto company can basically be on its knees and gone (in) one week. That shows how vulnerable the sector still is.”
Wolff has called for more regulations to be put in place to stop these sorts of events from happening, especially at this current time, with crypto having taken the plunge that it has across the board.
“There’s so many customers, investors and partners like us that have been left in utter disbelief at what has happened,” Wolff added.
The whole situation comes at a time where both the teams and the sport itself are becoming increasingly linked with crypto, with crypto.com having even sponsored the Miami Grand Prix and become a partner of Aston Martin.