ING and Mutua Madrilena drop Renault

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Renault won't need its ING or Mutua Madrilena logos this weekend
Renault won't need its ING or Mutua Madrilena logos this weekend

The FIA felt Renault’s deliberate crash in last year’s Singapore Grand Prix was hardly worth punishing.

But two of the biggest names on the teams’ cars no longer wish to be tainted by association with the team’s flagrant act of cheating.

Title sponsors ING jumped ship within hours of Mutua Madrilena abandoning the team. Neither of their logos are expected to remain on the car this weekend.

ING were already going to end their association with the team at the end of the year. But they haven’t gone quietly, issuing a stinging statement leaving no-one in any doubt of why they’ve dumped Renault four races early:

In light of the verdict of the World Motor Sport Council of 21 September 2009 concerning the events that occurred at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, ING will terminate the contract with Renault Formula 1 with immediate effect.

ING is deeply disappointed at this turn of events, especially in the context of an otherwise successful sponsorship.

On the face of it, Mutua Madrilena could be running true to form by leaving the team but remaining with Fernando Alonso. The company did much the same when it left McLaren to join Alonso at Renault in 2008.

The company may now be about to follow Alonso to Ferrari, as it looks increasingly likely the Scuderia will announce him as a driver for 2010. However it’s not hard to see why an insurance company would not want to be associated with a team that deliberately caused a crash.

There has already been vociferous condemnation of the FIA’s weak punishment of Renault from the media and the majority of fans. This is a further indication of how serious Renault’s transgression was, and how the FIA failed to deliver a suitable punishment.

Alonso, meanwhile, has shown no regret for what happened and the team are obviously eager to sweep the matter under the carpet. The FIA are apparently happy to collude with them in this, and spared Alonso an appearance at today’s press conference for drivers. There will be no Renault representative at the teams’ press conference tomorrow either.

When Alonso was tracked down by Autosport’s Jonathan Noble he brushed off a series of questions about the incident and showed a distinct lack of remorse for his ill-gotten victory.

Asked what the trial had done from the reputation of the sport, he said:

I am not an expert of that. I only know what is about me, and what is about this weekend – which is the only thing that really matters.
Fernando Alonso

I had nothing but admiration for Alonso when he railed at the FIA following his patently unjust qualifying penalty at Monza in 2006, famously declaring “F1 is no longer a sport.”

That same sense of sporting integrity now seems to have deserted him. I hope he finds it again soon.

Perhaps the disappearance of two of his team’s major sponsors within hours of him declaring “That is behind us and we move on,” will persuade him that this is a bigger deal than he would like to believe.

Renault Singapore crash controversy

Image via @lukehmuse on Twitter

124 comments on “ING and Mutua Madrilena drop Renault”

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3
  1. ¡Ay por favor! Can we please leave Alonso out of this. If he had something to do with this, then oh well lets go on with racing, if he did do it, then shame on him and still lets get on with racing. Senna and Prost crashed into each other back in the day, and no one said anything, no one hated Senna for crashing into Alain, no one hated Alain for crashing into Ayrton, and yet everyone hates Fernando for not crashing. I don’t mean any disrespect for anyone in here.

    1. no one hated Senna for crashing into Alain, no one hated Alain for crashing into Ayrton

      Eh? There was and still is tons of bile thrown at both men from fans for their crashes into each other.

      1. Well you know what I mean, in respect that people today regard them as greats and over look the fact that they did that back in the day. Is what I really meant.

    2. I lost respect for both drivers for their antics to win the wdc. Senna is now gone and prost is relegated to an uminmportant level so they are no longer a subject of recenmt conversation.
      When I mention them it is to put reference to the days we are in noww and how it relates.
      Both were great drivers, neither liked each other although I understand that prost tried to become friends with senna and was shut out.
      The reality is that they actually started the current form of winning at all cost. The fia should have banned all their results for their action in the year they crashed each other out and that would have sent a clear message to the younger drivers that this form of competition is not acceptable.
      Maybe if they had we wouldnt be talking about a team principle, the cheif engineer and a child throwing a race.

      1. Alright, alright….

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.