Belgian GP Undisturbed by Potential Loss of Sponsor
However, the race officials insisted that the Belgian Grand Prix will not be affected in any way by a potential decision to withdraw from the sport coming from the Dutch banking Group. Despite benefiting from financial backing from ING, the Spa-Francorchamps race does not rest solely on the support of the Dutch company for hosting the Formula 1 event.
“We have nothing to fear. Our contract is not with ING, but with the company that organizes all of the advertising,” said Spa boss Andre Maes, according to several media reports in Belgium. The only concern for the race officials go to the ticketing process, as they revealed that ING Group has already reserved some 3,000 tickets for their employees and customers for the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix.
ING announced that they are planning to revise their investments in Formula 1 in the mid-season, taking under consideration the economic situation at the time. Should they decide to retire from the sport, they would most likely renounce the 3,000 tickets for Spa, as the Belgian Grand Prix is scheduled to take place in the second part of the season.
The Dutch banking group confirmed, earlier this week, that they are to cut their sponsorship to Renault's F1 team by almost 40 % as compared to the previous season. The announcement was made after ING had previously decided to cut no less than 7,000 jobs – approximately 5.4% of company's workforce – in an effort to reduce costs in both their head and marketing offices.