Russian phone company backs Renault F1

The ING Renault F1 Team has announced a new partnership with MegaFon, one of Russia’s major telecommunications companies. The agreement sees MegaFon’s branding appear on the drivers’ suits and on the carbon fibre floor (in front of the rear wheels) of the team’s cars at this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix.

"Russia is a market of significant and growing interest to the global economy and is therefore important for Formula 1," says Renault's Flavio Briatore. "Our partnership with MegaFon will help enhance our ability to communicate with a huge number of potential F1 fans across Russia."

MegaFon has always supported the development of sport and has sponsored the national football and hockey teams. The company was previously known as North-West GSM and is the third largest mobile phone operators in Russia, boasting more than 30m users.

The ownership of company is complicated with some shares belonging to Scandinavian firm TeliaSonera, some owned by Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman and around 39% being owned by a British Virgin Island-based company called IPOC International Growth Fund, which has been at the centre of series of controversial legal actions which have linked the business to Russian Telecommunications Minister Mr. Leonid Reiman.

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