Ferrari signs sponsor to replace Vodafone

UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'speculation' today. The existence of Ferrari's major new formula one team sponsorship with diamond company 'De Beers' has been cast into doubt.

American business and financial magazine 'Forbes' quoted a London based spokeswoman as denying that the South African and English based corporation would replace Vodafone in 2007.

''There is a natural association between diamonds and the glamorous world of F1,'' Lynne Hori said, ''but (De Beers) have no intention of sponsoring a formula one team.''

A spokeswoman at Ferrari shed no further light on the mystery, as the international press went into overdrive with reports that the deal was now struck.

''We know nothing about it,'' she told the German 'Express' publication. ''Furthermore, we do not comment on speculation.''

01/01/06 Ferrari's F1 team is rumored to have signed a multi-million pound sponsorship deal with De Beers, the world's largest diamond mining company for 2007 when Vodafone moves to McLaren Mercedes. The move is said to be part of De Beers's commitment to raise the amount it spends on marketing and promoting diamonds to around 10 per cent of its annual revenue.

De Beers is the world's dominant diamond mining and trading company, and is credited for penning the well-known 'A Diamond is Forever' motto.

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