Lada make surprise move into Formula One

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The Independent Online

Russian carmaker Lada's branding will appear on Renault Formula One cars this season under an agreement announced today.

The team, who have Russia's first F1 driver Vitaly Petrov making his debut in Bahrain at next week's season-opener, said in a statement that the deal also covered overalls and team uniform.

French carmaker Renault has a 25 percent stake in loss-making Lada maker AvtoVAZ, Russia's biggest auto manufacturer, and sees Russia as a priority market.

"We are proud to announce this new agreement, which marks another important step for the Renault F1 Team and Formula One in Russia," said team chairman Gerard Lopez.

"It is an honour for our F1 team to spearhead Russia's entry into the sport and to carry the Lada brand at the highest level of world motorsport. We look forward to an exciting and successful season together."

The team said the agreement was formally signed in Moscow last Monday.