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F1 NEWS 

Stewart to relinquish part of RBS fee

Jackie StewartSir Jackie Stewart is to relinquish part of the payments he receives from the Royal Bank of Scotland following the bank's recent problems.

The triple world champion performs ambassadorial duties for RBS, which has received substantial bad publicity in recent weeks after requiring a financial bail-out from the British government.

A statement from the bank said that Stewart would carry out his 2009 duties for free. His contract with RBS runs through 2011.

"Sir Jackie has offered to fulfil his contractual obligations in 2009 without payment, which RBS is very pleased to accept," it said.

"In recognition of the changed financial and economic circumstances facing RBS, Sir Jackie Stewart has been in discussion with the group over a period of weeks about the remaining terms of his contract.

"Sir Jackie wants to help the bank with its new strategic objective of rebuilding standalone strength by serving its customers well, in the UK and globally, in the next three years.".

RBS head of communications Andrew McLaughlin praised Stewart's decision.

"His commitment and loyalty at such a challenging time in the company's long history is greatly appreciated by everyone at RBS," he said.

Stewart said he had a performed a variety of duties for RBS including his roles at grands prix.

"I have a large number of global activities such as product launches and corporate hospitality," he told the Times newspaper.

"It was a five-year contract, I think, and then it was extended. My contract finishes with the bank in 2011.

"Some years I go to five races, some years ten, it depends. They pay my expenses wherever I travel, which is sometimes commercial long-haul and sometimes in a private plane with other RBS people. If RBS already have a plane going somewhere, then I travel with them."

RBS's involvement in sports sponsorship has come under particular scrutiny in the media, and it recently announced that it would end its backing of the Williams team when the current contract expires at the end of next year.

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