Trouble at ING

The Dutch financial services company, ING Groep NV, which supports the Renault F1 team, has run into more financial difficulties. The company received $13bn from the Dutch government in October to help it through the financial crisis. According to reports this morning on Bloomberg, ING will axe 7000 jobs shortly and its chief executive Michel Tilmant, a Formula 1 fan, is to resign. ING spends a considerable amount of money in F1 with the Renault sponsorship plus the title sponsorship of two Grands Prix and track advertising at 14 of the 18 races last year. According to the reports the company will cut its F1 sponsorships this year by 40%, although it has contractual obligations so the cuts are likely to be in all the peripheral activity. ING will assess in the midseason whether it will continue beyond the end of the year. ING spends $100m per season on its F1 programme, with around half of the money going to Renault and the rest of the signage and title sponsorships.

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