Fresh tobacco doubts emerge

Tobacco advertising in Formula 1 is looking increasingly likely to stay in the sport beyond this July's planned pan-European ban on cigarette sponsorship with teams set to question the new laws

Fresh tobacco doubts emerge

On the back of continued uncertainty for tobacco-sponsored British teams about whether they will break the law if television images of their cars are broadcast back into their home country later this year, Renault F1 team president Patrick Faure has now revealed that his company believes that his cars can continue to carry cigarette logos for at least two more years.

"It is not very clear for us whether this [the EU ban on tobacco advertising] will happen in the middle of this year or the end of 2006," he said at the launch of Renault's Mild Seven sponsored R25 in Monaco on Tuesday.

"We think we can keep tobacco for 2005 and 2006 with the right number of grands prix being raced with tobacco [logos]."

When asked whether Renault would therefore run with Mild Seven logos in Europe, Faure declined to make a firm comment - but did admit there were grounds to get a clarification on the legal situation.

"Renault will do everything respecting the law," he said. "It is not clear what the law will be after July 31. It is not clear what is the European rule and we will clarify it and we will respect it."

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