Just 24 hours after revealing to the world their car for 2023, the C43, Sauber have found themselves potentially in serious trouble, with there possibly being “criminal consequences” for their actions.
The Hinwil-based team have caused a stir following the announcement recently that their new title sponsor is Stake, a Curacao-registered online casino and gambling portal.
The Stake logo was visible all over the C43 during its launch Tuesday morning, as the side revealed a new black and dark-red livery for the forthcoming season.
However, concerns have been raised that the team may have broken Swiss advertising laws during the launch, with the Stake branding having been so visible.
With this in mind, it’s been speculated that Switzerland’s Federal Gaming Board (ESBK) might look into the outfit’s launch, with the side having been warned that if the ESBK do look into it, then it could result in severe action.
“If the ESBK becomes aware of the case and initiates an investigation, it could have criminal consequences,” said Ruedi Schneider, the board’s deputy head.
According to Swiss newspaper Blick, the Stake logo actually won’t be used for the vast majority of the season, with it set to feature at a “few races”.
When it doesn’t feature, the Stake logo will be replaced by the branding of Stake’s gaming livestream platform ‘Kick’.
Despite the potential trouble brewing for Sauber, the outfit aren’t concerned by any speculation, with the team having been told by Stake that the company has not intentions of “targeting the Swiss market”.
“Stake confirmed to us that the company is not targeting the Swiss market with its games,” Sauber said in a statement
“The domain is blocked in Switzerland and further measures are being taken to prevent Swiss users from accessing the services,” Sauber added.
“As a team, we always comply with all applicable local laws and FIA regulations.”
Sauber’s overall launch was, on the whole, very slick and close to perfection in regard to a car launch, had it not been for the fact that they managed to leak their own livery.
During a pre-launch conversation, pictures of the C43 appeared on the live broadcast, meaning the world knew what the car looked like, before the covers were taken off by Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu.