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Page last updated at 16:46 GMT, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Renault's F1 Team agrees sponsorship deal with Lada

Renault driver Vitaly Petrov
Russian driver Vitaly Petrov will compete for Renault this season

Renault have announced a sponsorship deal with AvtoVAZ, owners of Russian carmaker Lada.

It follows the recruitment of Vitaly Petrov, who will become the first Russian to compete in Formula 1 at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Team chairman Gerard Lopez said: "It is an honour for our team to spearhead Russia's entry into the sport."

The new agreement was signed earlier this week and has the backing of the Russian government.

"It is possible we will increase our sponsorship role in the future," Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said earlier this week.

He also wished Petrov success in the coming season, adding: "I am sure he will set a fine example of what cooperation between Renault and Russian car manufacturers can achieve."

It is nine years since the announcement that a Grand Prix circuit was to be built close to Moscow and a site was subsequently identified at Nagatino on a bend in the Moskva river, but the plan never came to fruition.

The signing of Petrov, who began his racing career on home soil in the Lada Cup, to partner Poland's Robert Kubica was announced by Renault in January and the new deal is a further sign of Russia's growing interest in F1.

Lopez, who owns investment company Mangrove Capital, said: "We have been actively investing in Russia over the last years. We know the country well, we have a high degree of appreciation for it."

He added: "We look forward to an exciting and successful season together."

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see also
Russian Petrov signed by Renault
31 Jan 10 |  Formula 1
Midland to race for Russia in F1
17 Nov 05 |  Formula 1
Russia still wants F1
16 Oct 03 |  Formula 1
Moscow F1 plan 'still alive'
07 Oct 02 |  Formula One

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