The Renault F1 team has inked a three-year deal with watchmaker TW Steel, making the Dutch brand its 'official timing partner' through to the end of the 2012 Formula One season.

While the deal is effective from 2010, TW Steel will make its F1 bow with the team at this weekend's season finale at the brand new Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, where it will enjoy prominent branding on the R29's nose, front wing and leading sidepod edge, as well as on the drivers' timing monitors and the garage wall. As of next season and beyond, the brand's logo will also appear on team uniforms and driver racesuits.

"I believe our partnership with the Renault F1 team provides a tremendous global platform for TW Steel," commented CEO Jordy Cobelens, "F1 has immense appeal for a young, ambitious brand such as ours, and we look forward to activating our relationship with Renault and ultimately engaging the consumer worldwide through a targeted marketing programme. This is an exciting time to be involved in F1 and we look forward to continued success both on and off track through our new partnership."

The announcement comes at a time when Renault is attempting to regroup following the departure of primary backer ING and Mutua Madrilenas following the recent 'race fixing' scandal that cost the jobs of team boss Flavio Briatore and engineering director Pat Symonds, and MS Jean-Francois Caubet admitted that it was good to bring a new name on board.

"We are delighted to join forces with TW Steel," he said, "Over the next three years, we look forward to building a close and dynamic relationship as we strive to reach the highest level of performance on the racetrack. The partnership brings great value for both the Renault F1 team and TW Steel, and confirms the team's positive outlook for the years ahead. I have no doubt that we will enjoy an exciting and successful future together."

TW Steel, the name meaning 'The Watch in Steel', specialises in oversized watches, and was heavily involved with the A1GP Series in 2008-09. Having launched in the Netherlands in 2005 with a simple four-watch collection, it has rapidly emerged as an innovative and bold lifestyle brand, now available worldwide in over 50 countries.

A photocall to mark the beginning of the partnership will be staged in Abu Dhabi on Friday [30 October], before the inaugural grand prix at the new Yas Marina facility gets underway with free practice.


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