Report: Renault Could Sell Formula One Team

Negative CamberCorrespondent INovember 5, 2009

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 01:  Romain Grosjean of France and Renault drives during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on November 1, 2009 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

The Telegraph has an interesting story that largely covers the Ferrari thrust at Jean Todt and the FIA, but which also suggest Renault could decide to sell the team a la Honda and Ross Brawn.

  Too bad about that lifetime ban, Flavio.

First up, though, the story’s focus on Ferrari’s passionate statement yesterday, which charged the FIA leadership with slowly killing F1, suggests Ferrari’s claim is getting notice and traction.

And that means at some point, Todt will have to respond. And that the other teams will have to do something about it, as well.

Here’s the Telegraph on Renault:

Renault’s board met in Paris last night for an extraordinary meeting at which the subject of its own involvement in F1 was discussed.

It is unlikely that the French manufacturer will announce anything on Thursday, as it has an important PR event.

However, it is entirely possible Renault will decide to quit a sport in which it had its least competitive season since 2001, one in which it was drawn into the hugely damaging race-fixing scandal that saw team principal Flavio Briatore and director of engineering Pat Symonds banned from the sport.

The Renault team also received a ban, suspended for two years, as punishment.

However, the FIA’s leniency on that occasion is believed to have been partly down to assurances from Renault that it would stay in the sport. They recently signed Robert Kubica to replace lead driver Fernando Alonso, strongly indicating they will compete in 2010.

It is understood that the French manufacturer may try to sell the team in the manner that Honda did to Ross Brawn last winter. A deal with Briatore had been mooted before the Italian was banned and no doubt there would be other interested buyers.

I can’t help wondering if Max Mosley saw the sale to Flavio Briatore coming, and that was really his push for the lifetime ban. At the least, by the time Flav got it overturned in court, Renault would be sold to someone else.

Does anyone have any sense of who else there is out there who might be willing to buy the team? And what might that do its role as an engine supplier?

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