F1 News, Views and Reviews

Could Renault Sell Team To Prodrive?

Today Renault F1 bosses are holding crisis meetings about the future of the manufacturer in Formula One.  With the economic crsis and the after effects of Crash-Gate hitting the team hard, they could well be looking to pull out of the sport and sell their operation.

A report written in today’s French newspaper L’Equipe suggests that David Richards and his Prodrive outfit could be ready to make a move for the team, based in Enstone, Oxfordshire.

Richards could then sell the whole Prodrive operation headquaters at Banbury and move the team into the Enstone facility, described to The F1Fanatics Blog earlier this year by a Williams employee “As one of the best headquters I have ever seen”.

Prodrive had planned to make an F1 return, attempting to gain one of the new grid slots having been previously accepted bu failing to make the grid.  They failed, but are still interested with the former British American Racing team principal at the helm.

It would be a large investment for Richards whose Prodrive company used to build Subaru’s World Rally cars, and now concentrates on Le Mans series under the Aston Martin banner.  Richards was quick to find funding to save the aforementioned British car manufacturer from extinction a few years ago and it is unknown if the new team could run under that banner.

Prodrive were being very cagy today in their response.

“We will make an announcement the day we have something interesting to announce,” a Prodrive spokesperson is quoted as saying.

“The truth is that Prodrive, whose candidacy was not accepted by the FIA for 2010, will be ready to take part in F1, on the condition of being able to be competitive and that the company be viable.”

There are said to be other interested parties, and one could be Stefan GP.  The Serbian outfit also failed to get into F1 on the new grid, and have been sniffing around purchasing Toyota’s operation but this has now hit the rocks as Toyota gave the FIA back their entrance in order to pave the way for Sauber’s return.  However Stefan GP are said to be interested in purchasing the 2010 car model from the Cologne based team.

Even if they sell the team, Renault will still continue to manufactuer engines for the Red Bull Racing team who they recently re-signed into contract.  They could also provide engines to the purchaser of their team, but there is some online speculation that they could revive the Mecachrome or Supertec brands for the engine badging.

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