Mild Seven, Renault plan F1 exit

(GMMf1NET) 2006 will likely be tobacco brand Mild Seven's final year in F1.

The long-time Benetton/Renault sponsor, according to speculation, will apparently stick to its current contract – which expires this year – but join Lucky Strike (Honda) and West (McLaren) in farewelling the sport amidst the backdrop of the European advert ban.

2006 will also be Lucky Strike's final season, after parent company British American Tobacco sold BAR to Honda. West left McLaren mid last season.

Mild Seven is owned by Japan Tobacco. The latest speculation will add fuel to gossip that Renault is also preparing to withdraw from F1.

The French carmaker's new chief, Carlos Ghosn, is likely to make an announcement about the future of Renault in F1 next month.

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