Coca-Cola set to enter F1

Autosport

The Coca-Cola company will enter Formula 1 next year, AUTOSPORT has learned, with the soft drinks company understood to have a signed a sponsorship deal with a leading team.

The deal will be announced on Thursday afternoon at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Although it is not clear which outfit has secured the contract, AUTOSPORT understands that the high-profile tie-up is with a team that has won a race this season.

Recent speculation that the team is McLaren, is believed to be wide of the mark however, especially with the team already having ties with the soft-drinks industry through Lucozade owner GlaxoSmithKline.

Several teams have been chasing tie-ups with Coca-Cola, which is set to promote one of its other brands rather than its most famous drink.

Coca-Cola brands include Fanta, Sprite, Vitaminwater, Powerade and Burn. One of the latter energy drinks is understood to be the most likely brand to be used in F1.

That would put it in direct competition with Red Bull - which has achieved huge promotion through its ownership of the championship-winning F1 team.

Coca-Cola branding previously appeared on Tomas Enge's car in F3000 over a decade ago and the company also sponsors the annual 600-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte.

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