Todt: No problem with alcohol sponsorship in Formula 1

© Getty Images
1 Comment

TURIN, Italy – FIA president Jean Todt says that he has no problem with alcohol brands advertising in Formula 1 amid concerns about its growth in the sport.

Over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend earlier this month, F1 announced a new global partnership with Dutch beer brand Heineken that includes trackside advertising and title sponsorship for races in the future.

The partnership was announced along with the message: “If you drive, never drink” to highlight the dangers of drink-driving.

In response to the deal, the European Alcohol Policy Alliance wrote a letter to Todt asking for him to clamp down on alcohol branding as F1 did with tobacco sponsorship in the late 2000s.

When asked if he felt frustrated by the commercial rights holder attracting alcohol brands to enter F1, Todt said: “I would not talk about frustration. My frustration is maybe in a different way.

“I feel that alcohol companies have a civil obligation that they don’t do properly. They have a responsibility to inform better about the risk of drinking and driving.

“We must be realistic. Is anybody in a position to ban the sale of alcohol? No. We cannot. Those people, those alcohol producers have very strong social responsibility.”

Todt said that he has no problem with alcohol sponsorship in F1 given its involvement in other sporting events such as the UEFA Champions League and the Rugby World Cup.

“To be very honest, I don’t have a problem if they do advertise,” Todt said.

“They advertise not only in motor racing. They advertise in soccer, UEFA, rugby – a lot of alcohol companies are advertising.

“But for me, they have a social obligation which they need to assess better to participate to discourage people to drive if they drink.”

Todt also commented that he felt comfortable with the current EU Commission investigation into F1’s governance and payment distribution, as called for by Sauber and Force India on grounds of competition.

“I’m very comfortable, it can only be good for the governing body,” Todt said.”

“The governing body has not [got] enough power, influence to have the final say on the rules. It’s the way it is. It’s simple. It has more then when I was elected.”

Formula E announces Portland, Oregon as US race in 2023

Formula E Portland 2023
Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images

The American date for the 2023 Formula E schedule will move from Brooklyn, New York to Portland, Oregon on June 24, 2023, filling the calendar at 16 rounds. This will be the first time in the nine-year history of the series that they have raced on the West Coast in only the third different city in the United States. Miami hosted one Formula E race in 2015. The series has visited the United States every season except 2020 due to the COVID-1+9 pandemic.

The 2023 race will be Round 12.

“We are excited to bring the premier electric motorsport world championship to Portland for the first time in June next year,” said Alberto Longo, Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer, Formula E in a press release. “There is a big, passionate fanbase for professional sports in the city, together with strong ecological credentials which makes Portland a perfect host for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

“The USA remains an important market for Formula E. We are delighted to maintain that critical presence and engage a new audience in the Pacific Northwest region in all-electric motorsport.”

MORE: McLaren Racing’s Ian James organization’s entry into Formula E

Last year’s American round in Brooklyn was made up of two races with Nick Cassidy from Envision Racing winning Race 1 and António da Costa from DS Techeetah taking the second race.

Portland will host only one Formula E race in 2023.

The 2023 season will be highlighted by the new Gen 3 car, which features a battery capable of generating 350 kilowatts with regeneration capability from both the front and rear axles. This contributes to a top speed of 200 miles per hour (m.p.h.), an increase of about 25 m.p.h. from last year.

The 2023 season also marks the entry of two new iconic teams, Maserati and McLaren, who completed their roster of drivers in late November with the addition of Jake Hughes.

Season 9 Calendar

Round 1:  January 3, Mexico City, Mexico
Rounds 2 & 3: January 27-28, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia
Round 4: February 11, Hyderabad, India*
Round 5: February 6, Cape Town, South Africa*
Round 6: March 8, São Paulo, Brazil*
Rounds 7 & 8: April 22-23, Berlin, Germany
Round 9: May 6, Monaco
Rounds 10 & 11: June 3-4, Jakarta, Indonesia
Round 12: June 24, Portland, Oregon*
Rounds 13 & 14: July 15-16, Rome, Italy
Rounds 15 & 16: July 29-30, London

*subject to final FIA Safety and Technical checks,