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Motor Racing

Benetton F1 team sold to Renault £75 m

Clothing retailer Benetton announced the sale of its Formula One team to French carmaker Renault today.

Renault will continue to be a main sponsor of the team for the next two years but is not committing to any involvement after that.

Benetton chairman Luciano Benetton said in a statement: "Globalisation today means that it is the specialists in their various sectors who compete in their core markets."

"Benetton made a great committment to Formula One racing that has brought us satisfaction beyond our wildest hopes. But to guarantee the team the future it deserves in this new global context, it's better to change driver."

Benetton won the drivers championship in 1994 and 1995 with Michael Shumacher. The team's cars are now driven by Giancarlo Fisichella and Alexander Wurz.

Renault are the latest major automobile manufacturers buying into Formula One. Stewart Ford sold out last year to Ford, which renamed the team Jaguar. BMW also recently bought into the Williams team and Honda has teamed up with British American Racing.

F1's top two teams are both associated with major auto builders - McLaren Mercedes and Ferrari.