Rich Energy hints at return to F1

Rich Energy boss says he's set to take a majority stake in existing F1 team

Drinks company will be a sponsor in 2021, says William Storey

THE CONTROVERSIAL owner of British energy drink company Rich Energy has said that his firm is set to make a return to Formula One as a majority stakeholder in one of the teams.

In a video statement released yesterday, outspoken CEO William Storey said that the company was eyeing a return to the sport as a partner in 2021 before becoming the title sponsor of the team the following year.

Rich Energy was previously a title sponsor of the Haas Formula One team but the relationship ended messily just months after its conception.

Since coming to fame in 2018, Storey has made his ambition to compete with Red Bull — the most popular energy drink in the world and a four-time F1 constructor’s champion winner — very clear.

Speaking in a meandering, two-part video statement, Storey said: “I am delighted to announce that Rich Energy, the UK’s premium energy drink, is coming back to Formula One.”

He continued: “In the last year, we’ve worked incredibly hard to lead a renaissance of Rich Energy worldwide, where millions of consumers are trying our drink, which we believe — and are very confident — is the best energy drink in the world.”

He then detailed the other endeavours that the energy drink company has made into other motorsports — including sponsoring super bike squad OMG Racing — and announced that a “strategic ally of Rich Energy has purchased, or has agreed to purchase, a majority stake in an existing [Formula One] team.”

He said that the company had looked into the viability of starting its own team before deciding instead to partner with the anonymous ally.

In a Tweet posted a week before the video announcement, the company also thanked former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone for playing a part in its return to the sport.

What is Rich Energy?

Rich Energy was founded in 2015 by Storey and an anonymous Austrian scientist but remained in relative obscurity until striking a sponsorship deal with Haas F1 in 2018.

Rich Energy hints at return to F1

Since its rise to fame, the company has been questioned repeatedly about its legitimacy. People have previously struggled to get hold of a can of the drink  — although it is now possible to order it through the company’s website — while financial records from 2017 showed only £581 in the business’ bank account, a figure that Storey called “irrelevant”.

The company has also had legal issues, including disputes with both a bicycle manufacturer and energy drink giant Red Bull over copyright infringement.

During its short stint in F1 both the company and its founder also gained notoriety due to their social media presence — a tweet posted from the company’s official account before the British Grand Prix in July 2019 announced that its relationship with Haas had been terminated due to poor performance, while a tweet posted during the race compared the Haas car to a “milk float”.

After the race, Haas said that it hoped a solution could be found between the companies that would allow the sponsorship deal to continue, but the arrangement between the team and Rich Energy was officially terminated in September 2019.