Renault title sponsor ING are to withdraw from the sport from next year, a statement issued by the team has confirmed. The Dutch banking firm has suffered as a result of the global financial crisis and rumours had circulated that it intended to reduce its involvement in the sport in the light of recent difficulties.
The group is the title sponsor of Renault, and also provides trackside sponsorship at a number of grands prix, including the Australian event in Melbourne. The Renault deal alone is believed to be worth around â‚¬12m, which would leave the Anglo-French team with a budget hole to fill for the 2009 season.
The statement issued by ING said: “In light of the recently announced cost reduction programme, ING confirmed today not to renew the three year sponsorship (2007-2009) contract with Renault F1 and to end its presence in F1 beyond the 2009 season.
“ING’s participation in Formula One was the company’s first global sponsorship project aimed at delivering revenue and raising the global brand awareness, particularly in ING’s key growth markets. Over the past two years, ING has successfully achieved its objectives for the F1 sponsorship, raising its overall global brand awareness by 16% (March 07 vs November 08).
“F1 remains a powerful business driver even in a difficult economic climate. Whilst ING has cut the F1 sponsorship costs by 40% in the final year, revenue generating opportunities will be a continuing focus through 2009. ING has enjoyed the relationship with Renault F1 and will continue to work closely with the team during the final year of the partnership.”