Lada to sponsor Renault

Russian car manufacturer Lada has announced that it will sponsor the Renault Formula One team for the 2010 season.

The deal comes after the Enstone-based operation announced the signing of Vitaly Petrov as Russia’s first ever Grand Prix driver, for the upcoming season. Speaking to news agency EFE, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin revealed that a sponsorship deal had now been agreed.

“We will sponsor this activity [the F1 team] as a first step, and do not rule out later increasing our financial participation in the project,” he said.

For the past two years Renault has had a significant business interest in Lada, taking a share of 25% its parent company, Avtovaz, in 2008.

Although there is no plans to change the team name, it is expected that the Lada brand may become more involved in the future.