Are F1 Race Teams Faking Sponsorships?

Formula 1 racing isn’t all that popular in the United States, especially compared to other forms of racing like Nascar. The industry for Formula 1 racing is still extensive, and there is a lot of money that goes in and out, as you could imagine from a multi-billion dollar racing industry. Regardless of its popularity here, there are still millions of fans that watch the Formula 1 races, and that might have attracted some attention in some not-so-positive ways. Whether you are a fan of the sport or not, you’ve probably noticed that like Nascar racecars, the Formula 1 racecars are covered in brand stickers and company sponsorship logos, but that doesn’t mean that all of the businesses are legitimate.

The sketchy world of Formula 1 sponsorships

As a casual watcher of Formula 1 races, I’ve never given much thought to any of the businesses that sponsor each team — unless they are a pretty significant, well-known company like Redbull. It never occurred to me that it was worth looking into any of the other company names that appeared on each race car, and I, like most people, really didn’t think twice about any of them. Some of the company sponsorships are little more than shady, but we can’t say we are surprised.

Formula One Grand Prix - Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton | Marco Serena/NurPhoto via Getty Images

As you might expect, Formula 1 racing is incredibly expensive. While there are a lot of regulations regarding the race cars themselves, there isn’t a lot of investigation and verification that goes into sponsorship and finances of each team. Because of the fixed costs of racing, smaller groups that don’t have the financial backing of large car sales, like Mercedes-Benz, rely heavily on company sponsorships to keep their team afloat.

Some teams rely on questionable companies

The illegitimate companies might not seem like they make much sense at first, but they are a way that teams can funnel money into their organizations to help keep them updated with all of the endless expenses of racing. There have been several cases of sketchy companies that have been less than substantial, and it has happened that it’s put some team’s reputation at risk.


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According to the authorities that rule over Formula 1, there will be more strict guidelines that teams will have to adhere to starting in 2021. Since this Formula 1 season has been postponed due to the looming threat of COVID-19, there haven’t been any changes involved as of this year. This could profoundly affect smaller teams that require funds from these less-than-reputable companies.