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F1 team forced to change their name before Australian Grand Prix due to strict rule

F1 team forced to change their name before Australian Grand Prix due to strict rule

One team has been forced to change their name.

The Stake F1 Team has been forced to undergo a major name change for this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

The team was known as Alfa Romeo Sauber last season, but the Italian car manufacturer withdrew from their title sponsorship ahead of the 2024 season.

Australian online casino Stake, who took over as co-title sponsors for the second half of last season, kept that position when the team rebranded as Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber prior to pre-season testing getting underway.

However, it was later announced that the team would be known as 'Stake F1 Team' on a daily basis.

The team have yet to record a point in either race of the 2024 season, with Zhou Guanyu finishing 11th in Bahrain. Team-mate Valtteri Bottas had a pit stop issue during that race, before coming home in 17th in Saudi Arabia.

Stake F1 Team will be hoping for improved fortunes during the third race of the season at Albert Park, Melbourne - but they will have to race under yet another new name.

The reason for this is because of Australia's strict gambling laws, which prohibit gambling advertising during live sport, on both broadcast and online platforms, between the hours of 5:00am and 8:30pm.

As a result, Kick must take over the title sponsorship of the team - meaning they will go by Kick Sauber for the entire weekend in Australia.

Similar laws in other countries means the team will also be known as Kick Sauber at the Spanish, Belgian and Qatar Grands Prix later this year.

Elsewhere, Finnish driver Bottas, who spends time in Australia with professional road and gravel cyclist Tiffany Cromwell, starred in a slightly bizarre advert for Uber earlier this week.

The advert, which drew reaction from Lewis Hamilton and others, saw Bottas initially introduced simply as a 'very famous racing driver' before struggling to get into his road car in the same unorthodox way that drivers must enter their F1 cars.

Bottas, Zhou and Kick Sauber will be hoping to record their first points of the season in Melbourne on Sunday.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Formula 1, Australia