The Renault F1 team will be taken over by new owners from 2010, BBC Sport has reported

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    The Renault F1 team will be taken over by new owners from 2010, BBC Sport has reported

    Post by Ross on 10th December 2009, 13:24

    Renault to be run under new management

    The Renault team will race on in Formula 1 next year after a deal was struck to secure its future, BBC Sport has learned.

    The company had considered its future in F1, but sources say its team will continue under new owners with Renault keeping a minority shareholding.

    A private announcement to the team is at its headquarters on Friday with an official announcement next week.

    The team name is unclear but it seems the car will race as a Renault.

    The two front-runners in the race to take over the team were Luxembourg businessman Gerard Lopez, and David Richards, the boss of the British motor racing engineering firm Prodrive and former team principal of Benetton and BAR in F1.

    Lopez is considered the favourite to take over Renault under the auspices of his Genii Capital investment company.

    Some sources say Renault will retain a 25% share in the team.

    The team's future has been in doubt since Renault held an emergency board meeting in early November to discuss whether to continue in F1.

    The issue has been discussed at further meetings of Renault bosses last week and this, with a final decision understood to have been taken at an executive board meeting on Wednesday.

    Detail beyond that is sketchy at the moment, including whether Robert Kubica will be retained as lead driver after signing a contract to replace double world champion Fernando Alonso, who has moved to Ferrari.

    Given that the Renault identity will remain to one degree or another, though, it seems certain that the highly rated Pole will be retained.

    Renault's decision to examine its participation in F1 came after the team's worst season since it returned to the sport as a constructor in 2002.

    They finished eighth out of 10 teams in the world championship, with a best result Alonso's third in the Singapore Grand Prix.

    Far worse for Renault's reputation, though, was the Singapore race-fixing scandal.

    Renault were handed a ban from F1, suspended for two years, after being found guilty of asking Nelson Piquet to crash deliberately in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to aid Alonso's chances of winning.

    Team boss Flavio Briatore and engineering director Pat Symonds were given banned from motorsport for their part in the conspiracy - Briatore for life and Symonds for five years.

    Both are contesting their bans in the French courts, with a verdict due in the new year.

    Piquet was not punished by governing body the FIA after agreeing to blow the whistle on the affair, even though Symonds gave evidence that the plan was the Brazilian's idea.

    Two of the team's major sponsors, the Dutch bank ING and the Spanish insurance company Mutua Madrilena ended their relationship with the team with immediate effect over the affair.


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