Grapevine: Coca-Cola Linked with F1 Move

Leading brands Coca-Cola and McDonald's are the latest big names to be linked with a possible entry into Formula One as major sponsors

Grapevine: Coca-Cola Linked with F1 Move

Both companies have previously shied away from a major involvement in Grand Prix racing because of the sport's close-ties with the tobacco industry, but the continued squeezing out of cigarette sponsorship is now being rumoured to have softened some of their opposition to F1.

A report in The Sunday Telegraph claims that Coca-Cola have begun an internal company investigation into whether the time is right for a move into F1 - especially because Red Bull are making such a success of their involvement.

Although the newspaper says that talks have not begun with any teams about a sponsorship package, Coca-Cola are reported to be evaluating a range of options from team ownership down to simple team backing.

The Sunday Telegraph quotes an executive with links to Coca-Cola: "It is very early days yet. But the growing popularity of F1 in several key Asian markets is something that is of interest to Coca-Cola."

McDonald's are believed to be much further away from giving the green light to F1 involvement, and their entry has been closely linked with the future of Valentino Rossi.

The fast-food giants are rumoured to be considering throwing their weight behind the Italian - and are believed to be especially keen on backing him if he decides to make the switch to F1, possibly with Ferrari.

A company as big as McDonald's would easily be able to afford to back Rossi and take on the kind of sponsorship involvement that a team like Ferrari could entail.

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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