F1 teams back Heineken deal amid controversy

<b>CONTROVERSIAL SPONSOR:</b> Believed to be worth up to $200-million for F1, the sport's new deal with Heineken has triggered controversy among campaigners who believe alcohol advertising should be banned. <i>Image: Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press via AP </i>
<b>CONTROVERSIAL SPONSOR:</b> Believed to be worth up to $200-million for F1, the sport's new deal with Heineken has triggered controversy among campaigners who believe alcohol advertising should be banned. <i>Image: Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press via AP </i>

Paris - Formula 1 teams support the sport's new global sponsorship deal with Heineken.

Believed to be worth up to $200-million for F1 and tipped to include an unprecedented scope, the Dutch beer brewer's deal has also triggered controversy among campaigners who believe alcohol advertising should be banned.

"F1 should ask themselves if they want to be a motor sport or an alcohol brand event," said a spokesperson for Eurocare, a public health organisation.

'Key killers on the road'

In a letter to FIA president Jean Todt, Eurocare added: "We would like to remind you that drink driving is one of the key killers on the road."

However, F1 teams have backed the sport's new Heineken deal, with the branded message 'If you drive, never drink' already seen on track in Canada.

Manor's Dave Ryan said: "I think it (Heineken) will be great for F1 so no, I don't have a problem with that level of involvement." 

Force India deputy chief Bob Fernley agreed: "I think Heineken is fantastic for formula one."

Christian Horner, the team principal of Red Bull, added: "I think it's a positive thing.  There are some great brands involved in F1 now and hopefully we can put on a good show for them."

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