Bernie Ecclestone claims there are now four parties interested in buying Renault’s Formula One team, with a deal set to be done before Christmas.
Previously only two parties were said to be interested – David Richards’ Prodrive group and Gerard Lopez’s Luxembourg investment fund Genii Capital – but Ecclestone told The Times there are two more groups in talks with Renault chiefs.
“Richards is up against more than somebody," he said. “There is the Gerard Lopez group, there is David Richards and then there are another two people.
“I don't think there is any big rush to get something done. [But] I hope it can be done within the next 10 days and before everybody breaks up for Christmas.”
French sports newspaper L'Equipe claims Ecclestone favours the Lopez deal and has linked former BAR boss Craig Pollock with taking a senior role on the team’s pit wall.
L’Equipe also claims that the Lopez deal would involve the team keeping the Renault name for 2010.
The French car manufacturer's executive committee met in Paris last week to discuss the future plans for the team, ahead of a crunch board meeting later this week.