In a twist possibly no one thought possible, is the controversial Rich Energy Drink gearing up to become the 11th team on the grid in 2022?
The company was the title sponsor of the Haas Formula 1 team in 2019 – a deal that was meant to last multiple seasons – but the relationship quickly deteriorated when William Storey was removed as CEO of the company.
Haas pulled the pin on the deal – a bizarre deal with claims that the drink was not real – and would revert back to their traditional colour scheme – doing away with the black and gold of the product.
Rich Energy purchased their stake in F1 to try and ‘become the number one energy drink on the grid’. This would never eventuate and multiple court battles surrounding the design of the logo caused plenty of headaches for team principal Guenther Steiner and owner Gene Haas.
The company’s infamous saga with Haas Formula 1 team was well documented in Netflix’s Drive To Survive.
And thus, Rich Energy faded into F1 oblivion. Never to be heard from again.
Reinstated CEO William Storey released a cryptic message on Twitter last night, claiming that Rich Energy would return to Formula 1 – and there’s an announcement to be made in early February.
“I would like to thank the thousands of motorsport fans who have contacted us who are as excited as we are about the black and gold of Rich Energy returning to Formula 1,” he said in a video filmed for his Twitter.
“As you know, in 2018, I signed a deal for Rich Energy to become the title sponsor of Haas and in 2019 Rich Energy Haas Formula 1 team competed with Ferrari engines.
“We had some challenges in the summer of 2019 with corporate stakeholders and our main competitors, causing us a lot of issues, but we’ve overcome that and, as the co-founder of the business, I led a renaissance of Rich Energy around the world.
“Now we have one of the best motorbike teams in the world, Rich Energy OMG Racing, we have partnerships with some of the biggest motorsports manufacturers, and now we have some of the fastest men in the world as ambassadors in addition to ambassadors in many other sports.
“We’re very, very excited about coming back to Formula 1 and we look forward to really being very competitive in the pinnacle of motorsport.”
While stranger things have happened in F1, it is hard to see another team link up with Storey and the company.
Before the lucrative deal with Haas was announced, Mr Storey stood up Williams Racing and then-assistant team principal Claire Williams. The team ultimately went with Rokit as title sponsor.
So does that mean we’re going to see a new team on the grid in 2022?
There’s plenty of criticism but at the time of publication, you can buy the energy drink online. So it appears, for now, that the drink is real.