A1 Grand Prix UK race under threat

Motor racing championship A1 Grand Prix could face a UK ban should the sport continue with plans to carry tobacco sponsorship on its racing cars.

No tobacco sponsorship will be allowed in European countries, including the UK, following an EU ban expected next summer. But A1 Grand Prix broadcast director Richard Dorfman predicted at the European Sponsorship Association Conference last week that tobacco sponsorship will not be rejected by A1.

A spokesman for A1 confirms that tobacco sponsorship “won’t be rejected” under current plans. The grand prix is rumoured to be talking to Brands Hatch as a potential UK host for the competition, which launches in September 2005, although such a move would be in doubt unless the cars drop tobacco sponsorship for the race.

Other A1 races will be staged in countries with no tobacco restrictions, including Bahrain, China, Dubai, India and Qatar. A spokeswoman for anti-smoking campaigners ASH says that she is disappointed the grand prix could use tobacco money, but admits the races are likely to be broadcast in Europe despite the ban.

The self-styled “world cup” of motorsport has been billed as a competitor to global sporting giant Formula One. The 26 individual teams in the grand prix are searching for sponsorship, with Aer Lingus and Ryanair already said to be in talks to back a team.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here