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Anti-bribery laws to deter F1 sponsors – team lawyer

A lawyer for Tony Fernandes’ F1 outfit Team Lotus said he is worried new anti-corruption laws in the UK could put off potential sponsors.

The Bribery Act, set to come into effect in April, includes new laws that might affect formula one’s culture of corporate hospitality, the Evening Standard quoted lawyer Jeremy Courtenay-Stamp as saying.

The report said Team Lotus and at least two other UK-based teams are examining the impact of the laws which carry a maximum jail term of 10 years.

Team Lotus’ Courtenay-Stamp said one possible infraction relevant to F1 is the bribery of a foreign public official, while another is the failure of a company to prevent the payment of bribes.

The provision to sponsors by teams of tickets and entertainment packages could therefore be seen as a “currency of bribery”.

“The sponsor may feel a little bit nervous about what they are doing in this area and cut back to the extent that they do not want to take people to races because it is deemed inappropriate,” said Courtenay-Stamp.

“It will mean that much larger corporations will enter these kinds of agreements with a lot more thought and caution, and that will affect teams with a UK sponsor base,” he added.