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Orange booming but is the company tired of F1?

Arrows sponsor Orange reports that it has gained another 1.1 million users in the last three months. The company now has a total of 8.28m customers. The company was bought earlier this year by France Telecom for $37bn with plans for the firm to take over the running of all France Telecom's mobile operations prior to a partial flotation. France Telecom says that this will happen before the end of the year.

What has been obvious in recent races is the lack of interest in the sponsorship of Arrows since the middle of year. In the early part of the year Orange boss Hans Snook was a regular visitor to races but he has not been since Canada and at recent events there have been almost no Orange personnel at all after a strong presence at the start of the season.

There have been suggestions in recent weeks that despite sometimes impressive performances from Arrows, orange has not been getting the coverage it hoped to get from the sponsorship. The deal with Arrows is believed to be for the next two seasons but as the deal was done with Snook before the France Telecom takeover it is not impossible that the French may seek to renegotiate the deal.

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