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Lada to sponsor Renault F1

ESPNF1 Staff
March 2, 2010 « Parade of champions planned for Bahrain | »
Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin has announced that Lada will sponsor Renault © Sutton Images
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Probably the manufacturer least likely to be associated with Formula One, Russian car maker Lada has announced it will be sponsoring the Renault F1 team for 2010.

The announcement, made by Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, is linked to the signing of Vitaly Petrov as the country's first F1 driver. Putin said Renault's signing of Petrov is a "great symbol of cooperation" between the French marque and Russia.

"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," the prime minister told news agency EFE.

In 2008, Renault bought a 25% stake in Lada's parent company Avtovaz for US$1 billion, and it is reported that Renault's chief executive Carlos Ghosn may now look to increase its involvement.

Although the car will carry Lada branding for 2010, there are no plans to change the team name.