FEBRUARY 8, 2024
Sauber not concerned about F1 sponsor crisis
Sauber insists it is "not concerned" about reports of a Swiss federal investigation into the legality of its new identity in Formula 1.
With the Alfa Romeo partnership now ended and two full seasons remaining until the works Audi rebranding, Sauber officially renamed its team and chassis after sponsors Stake and Kick for 2024.
The problem, though, is that gambling advertising in Switzerland is banned, meaning simply being called Stake - after Australian online casino company Stake - appears to be a breach of Swiss law.
SRF, a major Swiss broadcaster, says Sauber faces fines of up to 500,000 Swiss francs for the breach, but it is not known what would occur in light of a sustained breach throughout the entire 24-race calendar.
Tellingly, the official Sauber Group website suddenly no longer features any mention whatsoever not just of Stake, but any team partner whatsoever - or even the Hinwil-based Formula 1 team itself.
The site's indexed 'Partners' page, meanwhile, now returns a
404 - This page could not be found error.
In response to media coverage of Sauber's sponsor crisis since the launch of the neon green and black Stake F1 Team car for 2024, the team played down the matter.
Sauber Motorsport AG has always adhered and continues to adhere to the laws in force both in Switzerland and in the countries where the races take place, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.
We are not concerned about the (SRF) article about the ongoing investigation by Swiss authorities, the team added.
It is a process that will confirm that we are complying with all admissible laws in force.