Despite Renault managing director Jean-François Caubet’s insistence that the team will remain in Formula One, the official line is this: We haven’t decided.
Reuters has the word from a higher source than Caubet—Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn.
Here’s the Reuters report :
PARIS, Nov. 5 (Reuters)—French carmaker Renault (RENA.PA) said on Thursday it would decide by the end of the year whether to stay in Formula One following Toyota’s exit from the sport.
“You will have to be patient,” Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn told reporters. “We will make an announcement on our participation in Formula One before the end of the year.”
Toyota announced on Wednesday it was quitting the sport, less than a year after Japanese rivals Honda pulled out and only days since BMW ran its last race.
Sole tyre supplier Bridgestone has also said it will leave at the end of 2010.
Renault won the 2005 and 2006 championships with Fernando Alonso, but the Spaniard has now left for rivals Ferrari. Title sponsor ING has also departed, leaving a big hole in its budget.
If I were Robert Kubica…well, I don’t know what I would be doing now. If I were Timo Glock, I’d be calling McLaren right now.
My best sense is that Renault will sell the team and become an engine supplier for that team plus Red Bull.
Thoughts? What do you think would be Renault’s best path?