OCTOBER 10, 2008
Santander and Ferrari
The pages of Le Monde in Paris are rarely filled with Formula 1 stories, but an interview yesterday with banker Emilio Botin of Spain's Santander served to confirm rumours that have been kicking around in F1 circles for some weeks.
"On the F1 scene," the article said, "his business sponsors the Spanish driver Fernando Alonso and, soon, the red cars of Scuderia Ferrari."
Admittedly, the story is slightly wide of the mark as Santander's rival ING currently backs Alonso, but he was with the Spanish firm last year at McLaren, but the Ferrari deal is no great surprise.
Santander is one of the few banks that is doing well at the moment and has made particular inroads in Britain where it hastaken over Bradford & Bingley, Alliance & Leicester and Abbey National in recent times. The odd thing about moving to Ferrari is that with the recent acquisitions in Britain it makes more sense for Santander to use Lewis Hamilton than a monosyllabic Finn and a Brazilian.