ING Cut Sponsorship for Renault F1

After Williams-Toyota, another F1 team faces sponsorship troubles ahead of their 2009 campaign. Renault F1's leading sponsor, ING Group, has just announced it would cut no less than 7,000 jobs – 5.4% of company's work force – this year while also seeking governmental guarantees for “toxic mortgage debts”, as reported by the International Herald Tribune.

According to the aforementioned source, the Dutch banking group will cut costs in both their head and marketing offices, while also revising their Formula 1 sponsorship of the Renault team. The Group has been sponsoring Flavio Briatore's team for the past 2 years and will enter its 3rd and final year of contract in 2009.

Nanne Bos, a spokesman for ING Group, revealed that the sponsorship for Renault F1 (for 2009) was cut by almost 40 percent, but did not mention whether the company will renew its deal with the F1 outfit in the future. Bos revealed that such a decision will be taken in the mid-season, depending on the economic situation at the time.

“We have always said that we will evaluate the full program in the third year and then make a decision on how to go forward, and that’s what’s happening. Obviously we will take into account the current market circumstances, but no formal decision has been made for the moment,” said Bos.

The 40% cut in funds will leave Renault with only $60 million for 2009, more than a third of the team's entire budget for the upcoming season. However, the money would prove decisive in times of economic regression such as these, while also giving the French manufacturer enough time to secure sponsorship for 2010, in case ING decides to leave the sport then.

The cut in sponsorship funds will most likely occur in Renault's hospitality programme or marketing campaigns, as showed by the aforementioned source.
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