Mike Stevens | Sep 25, 2009

RENAULT HAS ASSURED the FIA it is committed to its Formula 1 program despite concerns the company would withdraw in the wake of the Singapore race-fixing scandal.

The French outfit has told the sport’s governing body it is keen to remain in the sport and repair the damage inflicted to its now tainted reputation.

In a letter addressed to the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council, Renault said: “Renault F1 and its parent company have given serious consideration as to whether it should remain in the sport following the prejudice caused to its corporate image by the conspiracy, in addition to the existing background of financial pressures that have caused car manufacturers to withdraw.

“But it has concluded that it would like to remain in Formula 1 and continue to make an important contribution to the sport.”

However, Renault may have difficulty in obtaining new corporate sponsors for the upcoming season after two major backers severed their links with immediate effect following the events at Singapore.

Renault's Flavio Briatore has been handed a lifetime motorsport ban. Photo: Bert van Dijk
Renault's Flavio Briatore has been handed a lifetime motorsport ban. Photo: Bert van Dijk

Dutch financial group ING cancelled its naming rights agreement with the team while Spanish insurers Matua Madrilena has also terminated its deal, although the company will remain a personal sponsor of Fernando Alonso.

"ING announced today that in light of the verdict of the World Motor Sport Council of 21 September 2009 concerning the events that occurred at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, ING will terminate the contract with Renault Formula 1 with immediate effect," the statement said.

"ING is deeply disappointed at this turn of events, especially in the context of an otherwise successful sponsorship. As announced on 16 February of this year, ING decided not to renew the three year sponsorship (2007-2009) contract with Renault F1 and to end its presence in Formula 1 after the 2009 season."

As Renault’s future would now seem certain, it is likely to accelerate development of its V8 powerplants. Williams F1 is reportedly in negotiations to secure use of Renault engines next year, potentially reuniting one of the most successful team-engine partnerships in F1 history.

Renault powered Williams to five Constructors' and four Drivers' championships in a six-year period between 1992 and 1997.

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