Haas: Rich Energy saga doesn't hurt our image

SILVERSTONE, U.K. -- Haas team principal Guenther Steiner will not get involved in the internal bickering at his team's title sponsor, Rich Energy, saying it does not impact his team's reputation.

Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Rich Energy's Twitter feed issued a statement saying the energy drink company had terminated its sponsorship deal with the American team. It was followed up by a statement from a group of Rich Energy's shareholders distancing themselves from the tweet, which they labelled as the "rogue actions" of a lone individual.

The Twitter account is understood to be under the control of the company's CEO, William Storey, although the group of shareholders say they are in the process of removing him from his role.

But in a conflicting version of events, the Twitter account claimed on Saturday that the rights to distribute the drink had been transferred to another company under the ownership of Storey. It was followed up by a tweet goading the Haas F1 team for continuing to run Rich Energy sponsorship on its cars at this weekend's British Grand Prix.

Speaking after the latest round of social media activity, Steiner said he hoped the sponsorship deal would continue once the internal dispute at Rich Energy is resolved.

"We are discussing [the situation] with them now," he said. "As you can imagine, we are not in control of what they do internally and neither do we want to be!

"They are sorting out what happens there and then the team [of investors] that wants to take over, they want to continue, and that is what we are talking about in the next few weeks: How do we continue with them.

"They know they need to agree between them before we go forward. I have no comment and no knowledge of what is going on there and I do not need to know."

When it was put to Steiner that the dispute is damaging Haas' reputation, the team principal added: "But there is a clear line between them paying us for advertising and us doing our job.

"So I don't think we are damaged as a team, because as a company Haas has done nothing wrong. We have not done anything wrong, we have done everything by the book, so actually it gives us a good reputation because we didn't react because we cannot.

"I think we are in a good position and we have showed the world that -- even with controversy outside of us -- we are not doing things that we shouldn't be doing. We work professionally and keep out of things we cannot control and are not entitled to control. So we just go along and whatever happens, happens."