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ING to leave Formula One at the end of 2009 16 Feb 2009

Race winner Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault in parc ferme with Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Japanese Grand Prix, Race Day, Fuji Speedway, Japan, Sunday, 12 October 2008 Nelson Piquet (BRA) Renault R29. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, Day Two, 10 February 2009. Timo Glock (GER) Toyota TF108 finishes 2nd.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 3 August 2008 Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault F1 Managing Director at the end of season team photograph.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, 2 November 2008

Renault title sponsor ING has announced on Monday that it will end its association with the French team, and pull out of Formula One racing altogether, following the 2009 season. The Dutch financial giant’s move is part of a company-wide cost-cutting initiative, prompted by the current economic climate.

“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,” read the ING statement.

“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 per cent (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 per cent 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.”

In response to ING’s announcement, Renault’s managing director, Flavio Briatore said: “During the past three years, the Team and ING have enjoyed a rewarding and successful relationship. ING has been an enthusiastic and supportive partner for the Renault F1 Team in all respects. They have been a true success story and have become a brand that is recognised worldwide thanks to an innovative and proactive sponsorship programme with our Team and Formula One.”

“However, we have been aware for quite some time that the world’s current financial climate was calling for a restructuring of our sport and with FOTA we have moved in that direction. Drastic cost reductions have been on FOTA’s agenda as one of the first priorities and with the ongoing programme of measures we are confident we can guarantee a solid future for our team and for Formula One.”