Spanish insurer cancels Renault sponsorship

Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:20pm EDT
 
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MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish insurer Mutua Madrilena has withdrawn its sponsorship of Renault after the Formula One team were handed a suspended permanent ban over a race-fixing scandal.

The company said the decision would have no impact on its sponsorship contract with Spaniard Fernando Alonso after the International Automobile Federation (FIA) ruling body had said the Renault driver was not implicated in the scandal.

"Mutua Madrilena believes the conduct of the relevant people in the team was of extraordinary seriousness and not only compromised the integrity of the sport but also put the physical safety of spectators, drivers and circuit personnel at risk," the company said in a statement.

"This could affect the image, reputation and good name of the team's sponsors."

The company told Renault to remove its name from the team's cars with immediate effect.

On Monday, FIA banned former Renault boss Flavio Briatore for life and suspended former engineering head Pat Symonds for five years for fixing last year's Singapore Grand Prix by ordering Brazilian Nelson Piquet to crash.

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Tony Jimenez. To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)