• Mar 5th 2010 at 10:28AM
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Renault R30 F1 car – click above for high-res image gallery

Renault F1's got itself a new sponsor: Lada. The Russian automaker's logo will appear on the R30 racing cars, as seen above, as well as the driver and crew uniforms. The announcement was made at a meeting held this Monday in Moscow, attended by Vladimir Putin, Carlos Ghosn, new Renault F1 pilot Vitaly Petrov, and a gaggle of other functionaries.

If you think the Lada sponsorship has anything to do with Renault F1 bringing the Russian rookie on board as the full-time #2 driver alongside lead guy Robert Kubica, you're right. It pretty much has everything to do with it, as both Genii Capital (the majority stakeholder in Renault F1) and Renault-Nissan (25% stakeholders in AvtoVaz, Lada's parent) actively work to advance their interests in Russia.

Petrov's hiring is part of a broader overture toward Russia (on Monday, Ghosn came right out and said that Petrov's nationality played a role in his selection), and the Lada sponsorship is obviously a reciprocal act. And it may not be the last one, either, as Putin indicated during Monday's meeting that Russia (i.e. Lada) could increase its sponsorship involvement in the future.

Clearly, the most important takeaway from all this, however, is that the idea of a shirtless Vladimir Putin, watching the Monaco GP from the deck of a Typhoon-class sub moored among the superyachts in Monaco Harbor, no longer seems completely outlandish.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lame! They are racing in F1 to increase their brand value and image, and putting the logo of a communist crap producer on their cars will do just the opposite.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hahaha... So Renaults new F1-car will be made of old rejected Fiat parts then?

      This is silly! What are they thinking at Lada?! The manufacturers who compete here do it for their brand recognition - Lada has no brand recognition! I didn't know they were still producing cars at all! They should start by introducing an actual, usable car! Then once people know they still excist they can start working on their brand recognition!

      What's next? Dacia sponsoring an Offshore Powerboat team?!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder how long it will be before Russia wants a Grand Prix there as well. Not that I am against it I would love to see more races added to the schedule one in the U.S or a second race in Canada possible Toronto? It already host the IRL why not F1? The U.S I would love to see would be at http://www.millermotorsportspark.com/explore/facility/track/
      A 4.5 mile road course would be amazing. So more races= better Get on it FIA!
        • 5 Years Ago
        They should make the F1 circuit around the massive ring-road in Moscow!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Like I said it wont be long before they have a race and thats fine by me! I wouldn't be suprised at all if by next season there are 2 more races on the schedule!
        • 5 Years Ago
        i think the project for an f1 race track is pretty certain to happen. i read some time ago that they even chose the construction site
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Val - you are correct. I've traveled to Moscow three times in the last year and I'll be back there in less than two weeks. The last time I was there they were showing off the construction site and the layout of the track was finished and graded, ready for the asphalt to be laid down. None of the facility infrastructure was close to being finished, just some foundations laid down. I don't know how far along it is by now, but Russians are keen to establish themselves in motorsports.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah did read this news yesterday. It was just in a newspaper presnted like "Lada enters f1".

      And thanks for giving that shirtless Vladimir on a Putin typhoon-class sub middle of Manoca yachts image to my head.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lada??? WTF!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Someone that is a fan of Hyundai shouldn't be throwing stones. It wasn't long ago that Hyundai was a joke.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Omg, the end of the world is really near :|
        • 5 Years Ago
        naw, it'll just breakdown every couple of laps.
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