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LeavING

As we’ve said, sponsorship and advertising dollars are something we pay some attention to, and in many ways F1 is a bellwether sport for such things.

Dutch bank and insurance company ING Groep NV announced it is pulling out of Formula One at the end of the 2009 season. ING is currently the title sponsor of the Renault team. The company has also been heavily involved in trackside advertising and is the official sponsor of this season’s opening Grand Prix in Australia as well as those in Belgium, Hungary and Turkey.

According to estimated figures published in a Formula Money report last year, ING is the second largest sponsor in the sport. The report estimated that ING were paying around $86 million annually into the sport, with around $65 million of that going to Renault. “In light of the recently announced cost reduction programme, ING confirmed today not to renew the three-year sponsorship (2007-2009) contract with Renault F1 and to end its presence in F1 beyond the 2009 season,” said a company statement. The group announced last month that it would cut operating expenses by €1 billion in 2009. SportsBusines International.