May 28 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Jean Todt has ruled out banning alcohol sponsorship in formula one.
During the Monaco grand prix weekend, a European alcohol policy group called Eurocare said the amount of alcohol-related exposure in the sport is “extreme”.
“We now urge the involved bodies in F1 to move away from alcohol sponsorship,” the group declared.
Williams’ major sponsor is Martini, a brand of Italian vermouth, while the Force India livery features branding of the United Breweries Group.
Johnnie Walker, meanwhile, backs the McLaren team, and last year it became the ‘official whisky’ of F1.
But FIA president Todt on Thursday told the Australian broadcaster ABC that he cannot ban alcohol advertising in F1.
“The use of advertising for alcohol is not linked to the FIA,” he said at the International Transport Forum in Germany.
“It’s linked to each singular country. I’m completely against and advocating against drinking and driving, but each country needs to make his own job,” he said.
“You cannot ban alcohol — it is not possible,” the FIA president insisted. “You can educate people not to drink and drive.
“And what I’m urging alcohol companies to do is to participate in funding to educate people and discourage people driving when they are drinking,” Todt added.
“So we are working very closely on that because we know it is an essential topic to be addressed.”
However, Italy’s Autosprint claims a sector of the European Union relating to advertising is preparing a dossier proposing to the FIA the abolishment of alcohol branding.