The Mercedes Formula 1 The team said on Thursday that it is retaining the branding of struggling cryptocurrency exchange FTX on its cars at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil this weekend while monitoring developments.
FTX, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, has been rocked by a rush of customer withdrawals and is trying to raise around $9.4 billion from investors and rivals, a source said on Thursday. .
Mercedes, then reigning Formula 1 champion, signed a sponsorship deal with FTX in September 2021.
A team spokesman said they were assessing the situation and the brand would remain on the racing cars of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and fellow Briton George Russell for the time being.
The weekend race at Interlagos is the penultimate round of the season, which ends in Abu Dhabi on November 20.
Earlier this year, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff commented on the deal with FTX; he said, “You can’t shut yourself off from modern technology. This is definitely an area that will grow.
“When we look 10 years from now, having to make payments that take two days and can’t be made outside of weekday hours is something that’s going to be a relic of the past. And that’s where cryptocurrencies come in,” he added.
Reports have surfaced that FTX has a chance of being bailed out by Binance, a rival cryptocurrency exchange firm that sponsors Mercedes rivals Alpine.
Binance said in a statement, “At first our hope was to be able to help FTX customers provide liquidity, but issues are beyond our control or our ability to help.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, Additional reporting by GrandPrix247)