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Credit Suisse explains BMW Sauber exit

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse has claimed that a shift in its sponsorship emphasis away from global markets, allied to its on-track success with BMW Sauber last year, were behind their decision not to renew its involvement in Formula One for this year.

Credit Suisse spent the end of last season pondering whether or not to extend its sponsorship of BMW Sauber - having first joined the team back in 2001.

The company eventually decided against another deal, however citing a move to more regional sponsorship commitments as key to their decision to shy away from F1.

"Credit Suisse decided not to renew its sponsorship contract with the BMW Sauber F1 Team beyond its expiry at the end of 2008," company spokesman Matthias Friedli said in a statement.

"In the future, we will be taking part in fewer global sponsorship projects, and instead will be putting greater emphasis on regional commitments. We have been cultivating this approach for several years.

"Some current examples are: the Salzburg Festival in 2006, the Bolshoi Theatre and New York Philharmonic in 2007, and the National Gallery in 2008."

He added: "Credit Suisse was a sponsor of the Sauber Petronas Formula One team from 2001 to 2005. BMW's takeover of the team in early 2006 united a long tradition in motorsports with proven efficiency and innovative ideas. In 2007, the BMW Sauber F1 Team established itself in the top three of Formula One in only its second year of existence.

"The 2008 season was the most successful season to date, highlighted by the team's victory at the Canadian Grand Prix. We believe the team is on the right path, and consequently now is an appropriate time to say goodbye. We would like to thank the team for a successful, constructive partnership, and will keep our fingers crossed for them."

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