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F1 team 'planning to race under two different names to avoid huge fine'


THE new Stake F1 team could use TWO names to escape a huge fine.

The Sauber outfit’s sponsorship from crypto casino operator Stake has created a dilemma with Swiss authorities.

The Stake F1 Team have faced another dilemma after unveiling their new car


The Stake F1 Team have faced another dilemma after unveiling their new carCredit: AP
Stake's C44 was loved by some fans and rated the 'most awful ever' by others


Stake’s C44 was loved by some fans and rated the ‘most awful ever’ by othersCredit: AP

And PlanetF1 suggest the team has come up with an innovative solution ahead of the 2024 season, starting in Bahrain on March 2.

The official name of Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber will be cut to the more relaxed “Stake F1 Team” for most venues.

But where gambling advertising is banned, an even more colloquial name will be used – the Kick F1 Team.

It’s a far more serious matter than the lively debate on social media earlier this week over the dramatic look of Sauber’s new car for this season.

The C44’s brash, lime design was compared to a cross between a Ninja Turtle and The Transformers.

And the sponsorship saga has certainly proved a headache for the team, which was previously backed by Alfa Romeo and will be rebranded as Audi from 2026.

Sauber’s home country Switzerland is one of the nations with strict controls over gambling ads.

Such sponsorship is only allowed if the company has a licence – which Stake does not.


Other problems include the fact that the new sponsorship name in F1 does not advertise to its country’s consumers and is not even accessible there.

It’s understood breaching the rules could mean a fine of 500.000 Swiss francs – about £460k

Swiss publication SRF quote Zurich-based Patrick Krauskopf, Head of the Centre for Competition and Commercial Law as saying: “Sponsorship would be permitted.

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“In this case, however, the Stake and Sauber brands are so closely linked and the term Stake is so strongly imprinted in the minds of viewers that we have probably crossed the red line into unauthorised advertising.”

”It means the Swiss Federal Gaming Board is probing  Sauber’s general agreement with Stake – but PlanetF1.com believes this is just a routine check.

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