At a World Motorpsort Council meeting in Paris on June 25th the FIA withdrew its ban on tobacco advertising, due to come into force in 2006. Instead, it has issued a recommendation that such sponsorship should be stopped, rather than imposing an...
At a World Motorpsort Council meeting in Paris on June 25th the FIA withdrew its ban on tobacco advertising, due to come into force in 2006. Instead, it has issued a recommendation that such sponsorship should be stopped, rather than imposing an outright ban.
The ban was originally voted for back in 2000 and the World Health Organisation had agreed the 2006 date but the European Union recently decided it would bring its own tobacco sponsorship ban into force a year earlier.
The EU ruling angered the FIA and already races in Belgium and Austria have been dropped from next year's calendar due to the row. F1's governing body argued that the EU's move was pointless as races with tobacco sponsorship could still be seen on television.
The move again fires speculation about the future of F1 in the EU, which is reportedly on dubious ground with non-tobacco ban countries such as Bahrain and China looking set to host Grands Prix. However, the change of stance from the FIA is not likely to be a major issue as many tobacco companies had already agreed to stop sponshorship by 2006.
The FIA statement read: "On legal advice the FIA has withdrawn the ban on tobacco sponsorship in motor sport voted in October, 2000 (for implementation in 2006) and substituted the following as a recommendation: That motor sport promoters and competitors (including circuit owners, event organisers, teams, and drivers) should cease all forms of tobacco sponsorship from October 1, 2006."
Also at the meeting dates were reserved for the 2004 championship, starting on March 7th and ending October 24th. 17 races are scheduled although at which circuits and in what order was not specified.