Max predicts tobacco sponsorship beyond 2006

FIA President Max Mosley says that he fully expects tobacco sponsorship to go on beyond 2006.

"We tried to organise it so all tobacco advertising would be finished in 2006," Mosley said. "Later, on legal advice, we changed that to a recommendation. Since then basically the FIA has got out of it. But I can see tobacco sponsorship going on beyond 2006 and teams with tobacco backing beyond 2006."

Mosley blames this situation on the European Union's decision to change the date of its ban on tobacco sponsorship from the end of 2006 to the middle of 2005, arguing that when the decision was made several F1 teams had already concluded deals to go beyond the new date, a situation which opened the way for legaal problems for the teams.

The pressure is on for Formula 1 to only go to EU countries which have agreed to allow tobacco advertising to be shown or where the laws are not strictly applied.

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