Russian government to help out Renault

The Russian government will be a sponsor of the Renault F1 team, using the Lada brand, according to remarks made by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The former President is a longtime friend of Petrov’s father, the two having been working in St Petersburg at the same time back in the immediate post-Soviet period when Putin had a series of jobs in the Saint Petersburg Mayor’s Office, before his 1997 appointment to the staff of President Boris Yeltsin. The news comes from the Moscow agency of Spain’s EFE news agency. Putin says that the signing of Petrov by Renault is a “great symbol of cooperation” between Renault and Lada, which is now 25%-owned by Renault and has been supported with government money several times in recent months.

It is expected that the Lada brand will be seen on the cars as a result and Putin says that increasing the investment should not be excluded as a possibility. Putin is keen to build up the Lada name, which is owned by a company called AvtoVaz, Russia’s biggest car manufacturer. It is one of the few Russian brands that are globally known although its reputation is not very good. Lada has struggled to compete with foreign imports in recent years.

It is worth noting that the government recently announced that it would be cutting its sponsorship of the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 by $600m because of the economic crisis. Sochi has however been able to pull in more than $1bn in revenues from Russian companies, including a new deal with Russian Railways, which is believed to be worth more than $100m. Other companies involved are Megafon, Sberbank and Aeroflot.

28 thoughts on “Russian government to help out Renault

  1. Back in the day…. the idea of a Lada Formula One Car would have been on the list of ‘Things Never To Happen’. Now I’ve read this, (and good luck to them if the idea works), I’m chuckling all the way to the first race.

    It’s not April 1st, is it?

  2. Last time we spoke here about Petrov’s funding and a letter to Putin, someone could wonder what could mail to Putin do.
    And here is the answer – just call Putin (who is the landlord in the end there 🙂 )

  3. Well, this certainly explains the Renault’s pace in testing. They were going slow to attract the Lada sponsorship!

  4. Lada F1. Formula Lada. Lada F1 Group. The Lada-Cosworth VP01. It still feels unsettingly alien, but who knows, one may get used to it over time.

    1. Russian

      Bullshit must be a popular word in Russia. That’s two I have received this morning. It is not very polite but I understand that sometimes things get lost in translation. If you read the other comment, you will see where the assertion came from….

  5. this is bullshit )))
    if putin is old friend of petrov father? then i – ballerina ))))

    if this were really so, then Putin has long found the money for vystupeniya son of his friend .. any indirect ways ..
    indeed sponsorship renalt f1 – just a PR-action of the government. and it is not devoid of meaning .. they always liked to success in the international arena. and again failed on the Canadian Olympiad, you can search a little PR in F1.

    1. Frm Russia,

      I guess that we have different sources. The people I know in Russia (and there was more than one of them) told me that Putin and Petrov Sr go back to the early 1990s. It is interesting that you think differently. It is also interesting that a long as Petrov has been in GP2 there have been stories saying that he was well-connected with Putin. OK, idle gossip proves nothing but it was there nonetheless. Your other arguments make perfect sense.

  6. Lada F1 – that would be superb! 🙂 I still remember all the Lada and Scoda jokes from primary school… what do you call a Lada with a sunroof etc! 🙂

    I would buy a Lada F1 t-shirt!

  7. With the larger fuel tanks for 2010, they’ll be able to triple the car’s value by filling it up.

  8. Interesting. I was just thinking the other day that it was very close to the rumoured March 1st deadline without any new visible sponsorship being on the (team formerly known as) Renault cars at Barcelona last week.

    This one definitely smells funny though. It definitely feels more like its ‘for show’ than a legitimate sponsorship deal: clearly its tied up in discussions between Russia/Renault about future funding for Lada.

    It should add a little job security for Petrov though – theres not many people that want to annoy Vladimir Putin 😀

  9. A Lada must be an object of desire….last time the accountants or something did a check the production was 150,000 cars of which 22,000 disappeared/cannot be traced/have been stole.

  10. Joe, sorry for not very politically correct sentence, just when a famous person, like you, gives information based on circumstantial evidence in 100% correct – it is puzzling and strong emotions. in the 90th many who have worked and earned in St.Piterburg. And many of them were not even personally know .. If Putin knew (befriended) Petrov father, then i dont think it would require all of this PR company from manager and his family with a history of credit, money and urgently seeking revocation of the place in the team in case of failure to pay the remaining amount of money.
    15 million euros – not such a huge amount which can draw connections with Putin. Yes, i think even if Petrov-senior said simply would when meeting with potential sponsors that he knows Putin well – the money would be quickly found.
    to the same court claims to Petrov-senior hardly be able to be appropriate, if it was a good friend of Putin.

    So I believe that the dependence of sponsorship Renault-Lada factory Renault-F1 team dating from Putin and Petrov-senior – common myth and hog-wash.
    As I previously suggested – it is just a PR campaign against the Kremlin’s failure to tangible interventions at the last Olympics. Putin has essentially come to the all ready – a contract, prepared to race pilot, just before the start of race 1. if it was targeted support from each other – then it would start with buying a test-driver. but as is well known contract with Petrov was signed at the last moment before the presentation of the renault car.
    ps this is only my opinion, not facts:)

  11. “Formula Lada”

    Surely the last gap on the fairly busy junior formulae ladder has now been filled. I want to see Formula Lada.

  12. Without the obvious Niki jokes/connections and the more obvious Lada jokes – how much is .. sounds like a fair swap. Lada have/do come in for a lot more criticism than is warranted. When I bought my last car/vehicle I looked at Land Rover, Toyota, Nissan etc (all in the 4×4 area) and eventually bought a 4×4 Lada Niva.

    The overall reaction I got locally was:

    Best car for the island
    Can I buy one?
    Where do I buy one?

    My Lada goes anywhere on this island, up, down, through etc. Pity the poor guy who owns a Ferrari – there is one. All our main roads are potholed, our secondary roads are narrow tracks then you have the gravel roads. I know which I would rather have.

  13. Am I the only person disgusted with the number of national governments becoming involved in Formula One?

  14. Parotkefalonia: You are the second person I know that puts Lada above Ferrari.

    My father used to own one. When driving above 80km/h the gearbox would rattle so loud, you could not hear the radio. But it would bring the family everywhere.

    If there would be caps with Lada F1 on it I would buy one for my father…

  15. i don’t understand, the only link between renault and Lada is through a a presedential associate of the father of the rookie driver bringing some money to the team. why would renault want to associate with Lada, unless there was some grand scheme for the two companies to merge for penetration into the russian market?

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