Telefonica set to extend Renault deal

(GMM) Spanish telecommunication giant Telefonica is set to remain a key sponsor of the Renault team in 2007, according to reports.

Even though the presence of compatriot Fernando Alonso at the squad lured the Madrid-based company to formula one, Telefonica is due to stay on despite the Spanish racer's switch at the end of the year to rival Vodafone-backed McLaren.

The Dutch, British and German press agree that a new Telefonica/Renault contract is likely, but whether it will replace departing cigarette brand Mild Seven as title sponsor is less certain.

One report estimated the 2007 Telefonica deal at about (US) $30m.

Renault originally announced the Telefonica coup at the start of 2004, in what it called a 'substantial multi-year partnership agreement'.

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