Manufacturer meeting today to decide team's future; Prodrive sale possible
3 December 2009

Renault's executive committee is meeting in Paris today to discuss the future of the Formula One team - and mounting speculation suggests the outfit could be sold to Prodrive's David Richards.

Prodrive has long held F1 ambitions, having come close a few years ago to running customer McLaren-Mercedes cars, and having submitted a bid for one of the vacant slots on the grid earlier this year. Speculation then suggested the team would initially run as Prodrive, before being rebranded Aston Martin, which Richards also has a stake in.

A Prodrive spokesman told "We cannot comment on the Renault situation, but it is well known that our intention is to get back into F1.

"We proved our credentials earlier this year when we had a strong business case for an entry, but having had an engine deal with Mercedes-Benz in place we were not willing to sacrifice our competitiveness."

Renault's CEO Carlos Ghosn recently questioned the benefits of his company being involved in F1, raising speculation that the manufacturer was looking to leave the sport.

"F1 is one of the most-seen spectacles in the world," he said in an interview with Forbes India magazine. "It is facing some challenges: Challenges on how fair it is and how do you marry F1 with the environmental concerns. Can you bring zero emission through technology? So there are lots of questions about F1.

"I notice that in the last year, three car manufacturers have bowed out of F1. Three in one year! That means there are a lot of questions that we need to resolve."

Renault has been evaluating its future plans since the end of the season, and sources suggest that one of the routes being most seriously considered now is for the team to be sold to Richards' Prodrive operation.

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Should the executive board made a decision about selling the team to Prodrive, then it will still need to be ratified by the Renault's main company board - which is scheduled to meet next week.

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3 December 2009

I can see the mainstream media writing up a Renault exit as "another blow for F1" but I think if Prodrive take over, then it's quite the opposite. Prodrive are passionate and dedicated to racing in the same way as Williams or McLaren. If the manufacturers flit in and out of F1, then you need real racing teams to keep the continuity and spectacle going.

4 December 2009

"Speculation then suggested the team would initially run as Prodrive, before being rebranded Aston Martin, which Richards also has a stake in."

Wouldn't Toyota have been a better bet? Like the Cygnet, the F1 car coud have had a new nose grafted on the front and an Aston badge stuck on the rear!



It's all about the twisties........

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