Rich Energy backs Haas F1, a day after it said it had dumped them

It blames team-dumping tweet 'on the rogue actions of one individual'

SILVERSTONE, England — Rich Energy shareholders said on Thursday they remained committed to the title sponsorship of the Haas Formula One team, a day after a post on Twitter had declared the contract terminated.

In a statement issued by the U.S.-owned team ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix, it said the comments had been made by an unauthorized source.

"Clearly the rogue actions of one individual have caused great embarrassment," they said. "We are in the process of legally removing the individual from all executive responsibilities. They may speak for themselves but their views are not those of the company."

The individual was not identified in the statement, nor were the shareholders.

The statement said Rich Energy "wholeheartedly" believed in the team, its performance, the organization as a whole and was also "fully committed" to keeping the current sponsorship agreement in place.

Wednesday's Tweet had declared: "Today @rich_energy terminated our contract with @HaasF1Team for poor performance. We aim to beat @redbullracing & being behind @WilliamsRacing in Austria is unacceptable.

"The politics and PC (political correctness) attitude in @F1 is also inhibiting our business. We wish the team well."

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said the Twitter announcement had come as a surprise but Rich Energy was "currently the title partner," and the branding would be staying on the race cars and transporters this weekend.

"I would like to tell you more, I cannot," he said, citing commercial confidentiality.

"There's a commercial agreement in place, and I don't want to do anything here about it. This is what is happening, and we go from there."

Haas is ninth out of the 10 teams, albeit only six points behind sixth-placed Alfa Romeo.

Danish driver Kevin Magnussen qualified fifth in Austria, the race before Silverstone, but finished 19th after a grid drop and drive-through penalty.

In May, Rich Energy lost a court case brought against it by Whyte Bikes for copyright infringement of its stag's head logo, which has since been removed from the Formula One cars.

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