Max Verstappen has lost the support of one his biggest sponsors after Dutch company Jumbo announced they are to leave Formula 1 at the end of the year.
Verstappen has been a partner of the supermarket chain for over a decade and they were one of his first helmet sponsors during his Formula 3 days, but they will now spend their money elsewhere. Jumbo are said to want to decrease their sporting sponsorships and instead invest in ways to help their customers.
As well as sponsoring Verstappen, Jumbo sponsor the Dutch Grand Prix and that deal will also come to an end following the conclusion of the 2023 season.
The move comes after a change of leadership at Jumbo with Ton van Veen replacing CEO Frits van Eerd following an investigation into money laundering.
Van Veen told the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that Jumbo wanted to focus its financial efforts on helping their customers instead of sponsoring Verstappen.
“Max is a folk hero, of course, but he acts on the absolute world stage,” he said.
“We are a very good food retailer, but only in the Netherlands and a bit in Belgium. We invest more than 20 million euros in sports sponsorship every year, but I can only spend every euro once. We cannot return the money that goes to Max to the customer, or put it into sustainability or health.”
The case against Van Eerd also concerns their sponsorship activity in motorsport, however Jumbo’s withdrawal as a sponsor for Verstappen is unrelated according to Van Veen.
Verstappen’s manager, Raymond Vermeulen, thanked Jumbo for their support over the years and said they hope their partnership concludes with a third world title.
“The Van Eerd and Jumbo family have supported Max from day one. That could certainly be called very unique at the time. We look back on a fantastic collaboration,” he told De Telegraaf.
“After 10 years, it’s not at all strange to recalibate the matter. Above all, we are very grateful and look back on all these years with great pleasure. This year we can hopefully get a third world title together and close it with a bang.”
Verstappen need not be worried about money though with plenty of other sponsors presumably willing to take the place vacated by Jumbo. The Dutchman added the name of EA Sports to his helmet for the 2023 season after agreeing a deal with the American video game company.