Ferrari Urges Sponsors to Stay

Ferrari and McLaren join forces once again in their attempt to stop the exodus of worldwide sponsors from the Formula 1 series. Following Ron Dennis' comments about how attractive the sport has become to the majority of sponsors, Ferrari's Luca di Montezemolo urged most of the companies involved in F1 sponsorship projects not to panic.

The Italian official insisted that the economic downturn that has struck the sport in recent months should not be dramatized further more and argued that Formula 1 has learnt how to deal with such situations in the past.

“This is a difficult moment, but we have lived through others. The important thing is to not dramatize things. I believe that F1, which is more and more international and involving many manufacturers and many teams, with strong cost reductions will always remain a strong place for sponsors,” said Di Montezemolo in an interview for Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

The comments from the two F1 representatives come only days after ING GROUP announced their departure from the sport at the end of this season. They have been title sponsors for Renault F1 team for the past 2 years, while also involved in the sponsoring of several Grand Pris in the F1 calendar.

BMW Sauber also had their deal with Swiss bank Credite Suisse cut ahead of the upcoming season, while Williams F1 backers Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is believed to consider permanent retirement from the sport due to financial difficulties. Brazilian oil company Petrobras have also announced they will not continue to pump money into F1 sponsorship following the retirement of partners Honda last December.

On the other hand, there was no major sponsor to announce the initiation of a sponsorship deal inside Formula 1 since the economic crisis has taken over the sport in late 2008.
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