In a huge surprise, Russian car manufacturer LADA is going to sponsor the Renault F1 team.

The butt of countless jokes over the years due to the shoddy quality of its cars, the manufacturer is part-owned by Renault and has taken major steps to recover its reputation in the recent years, including a three-car factory team in last year’s World Touring Car Championship (above).

Russian dictator Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has revealed that the R30 will carry LADA logos, and hinted that its sponsorship involvement could increase in the coming seasons.

Putin said: “The LADA logo will be on the race car and the uniforms of the driver and pit crew. This is appropriate, seeing as we intend to launch a new series of cars together with Renault’s direct participation under the traditional LADA brand.

“We will take the first steps in sponsoring the project, and it’s possible that we will increase our sponsorship role in the future.”

Meanwhile, Renault’s president Carlos Ghosn confirmed what we had all suspected by admitting that Vitaly Petrov’s nationality had been a key feature in securing his services for 2010, although he added that Vitaly wouldn’t have been signed if the team had any doubt about his backing talent.

He has money talent,” he said. “He is a great driver. We learned our lesson from Nelson Piquet Jr and would never sign a driver we had doubts about. He is a rising star.

“We made our choice from a pool of several candidates. Mr Petrov’s nationality played a role because of our close partnership with Russia. We hope Mr Petrov will win a lot of races for us. Again, his money nationality was one of the factors we considered.

“LADA, together with Renault and Nissan, has wonderful prospects. LADA is our main brand in Russia. It is the most popular brand and we will continue to improve it with the support of Nissan and Renault. These three brands account for 35 per cent of the global auto market. In Russia, LADA accounts for one third of the market. We hope that by promoting LADA with the support of Nissan and Renault, we will be able to increase this share.

“Now we have a great symbol for our partnership in Mr Petrov. He is the first Russian F1 driver on the Renault team.”

The following two tabs change content below.

Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.