His time in Formula 1 was short, but intense, and was never without controversy. The energy drink firm entered the category through a partnership with Haas Team for the 2019 season, but after only a few months, everything was blown up.
Disappointed with the performance of the team they were sponsoring, the brand’s eccentric CEO, William Storey , announced on social media that they were breaking up with the team, causing the company’s shareholders to try to put out the fire and bet on continuing.
There was an internal battle in the company, and the shareholders defined the announced rupture as “dishonest actions of an individual”. Two months later, in September 2019, Haas and Rich Energy finally said goodbye, but neither the name of the firm nor that of its CEO has completely disappeared.
In the same year they hinted that they were going to sponsor McLaren, leading to a swift and forceful denial from the Woking team. And after yet another controversy this season, with a team from the British Superbike Championship, Storey again jumps into the fray.
Taking advantage of the mess generated in Alpine by Alonso’s march to Aston Martin, the controversial man with a pronounced beard went to his favorite social network, Twitter, to leave his mark. After the French team announced Piastri as Alonso’s replacement and the Australian himself denied it, Storey charged at the youngster.
In fact, since he was there, he also launched a direct dart against Haas and ironized with Zak Brown , the CEO of McLaren F1.
“A pilot who was given a place in the young pilot academy and a position as a reserve pilot now treats his benefactors with contempt after making a deal with Porky Brown. A total ingrate. He would be a perfect fit for Haas, disloyal and with poor judgment,” he shot, directly quoting Piastri’s tweet.
None of those mentioned reacted to the publication of William Storey, as Gunther Steiner, boss of Haas, did with the previous controversy of Rich Energy in superbikes.
Piastri’s sit-in generated many reactions on social networks, and not all of them were negative. For example, the pilot Alexander Albon mocked when his renewal with Williams was announced, and the tweet from the airline Ryanair also went viral highlighting a trait that, according to them, unites them with Alpine: distributing random seats.
The Piastri soap opera, however, is far from over, as the team insists he has a contract with them. The matter may end up in the hands of the Formula 1 Contract Recognition Board , which will have to decide whether the rights to the 2021 Formula 2 champion belong to Alpine or McLaren .