- F1 teams decided to cover up many cryptocurrency sponsor logos as the French Grand Prix this weekend
- Many teams didn’t want to risk regulatory entanglements
- The issue was a team-by-team affair, showing the fragmented way in which crypto is still treated
Formula 1-loving crypto fans might have noticed something odd at Sunday’s French Grand Prix – there was not a crypto logo to be seen. Despite tens of millions of dollars being spent on sponsorship of F1 cars and teams by crypto firms, they were unanimously hidden for the weekend’s race, and the reason has just come to light – teams didn’t want to fall foul of regulators. France’s strict regulations regarding the advertising of various products, including cryptocurrencies, meant that during the French Grand Prix weekend, several F1 teams were obliged to cover up or entirely remove decals featuring branding by crypto-related products.
F1 Teams Didn’t Want to Fall Foul of Regulatory Rules
According to F1 news website Racing365, the decision to remove the crypto sponsorship elements from cars was down to the teams rather than any forces from above. It reports that eight of 10 teams in the competition currently have cryptocurrency partners of some sort, with some having multiple sponsorship deals.
Cryptocurrency companies pay small fortunes to have their name or logo displayed on F1 cars, so having them not on display never goes down well. However, as the sponsors and the teams explained to Racing 365, it was the lesser of two evils, although the picture was still very complex.
Crypto.com said that they would “not be exercising their branding rights” for the French Grand Prix in terms of its global partnership with F1, with the same applying to its Aston Martin partnership. However, Red Bull Racing had both its logos (ByBit and Tezos) on display after discussions with its sponsors, saying that its legal team was “aware of the situation”.
Lack of Clarity Firmly on Display
Mercedes also took legal advice about displaying the FTX branding before reaching the same conclusion, while Ferrari sponsor Velas was not impacted because it falls outside the jurisdiction for the French regulatory body, Autorité des Marche Financiers.
All in all, the fact that some teams decided they would allow sponsors details and some decided that they wouldn’t shows that lack of clarity that still exists in many spheres of the crypto space. With regulation increasing, we may see the same kind of actions being taken at more races in the coming years, potentially giving crypto its tobacco sponsorship moment with F1.