- 2010 season
Renault sells but stays in Formula One
The Renault name will remain in Formula One next season following a deal with Luxembourg-based investment firm Genii Capital to secure the team's future. The announcement ends months of speculation that Renault would walk away from F1. Instead, it will retain a minority shareholding and will also continue as an engine supplier.
"I am delighted to welcome Genii Capital as our new strategic partner," said Bernard Rey, Renault F1 team president, at a press conference in Paris. "I am sure that their enthusiasm and business expertise will create a new dynamic for the team, the staff, and our partners. Altogether, we look forward to competing again at the highest level in Formula One."
Genii Capital investment manager, Julien Nerguisian, told ESPNF1 that the team would continue under the Renault name in 2010 and possibly 2011 - although nothing has been confirmed beyond the end of next season. He added that in-depth details on the deal would not be made available to the press, and said rumours that Genii had taken a 75% share in the team did not come from Renault or his company.
Gerard Lopez, the boss Genii Capital, of was one of the early investors in Skype and also holds a stake in the driver management company Gravity. Chinese driver Ho-Pin Tung, who is managed by Gravity, was a last-minute addition to Renault's young driver line-up earlier this month. ESPNF1 has been told that the team is evaluating him alongside a number of other drivers to partner Robert Kubica in 2010.
Renault's CEO Carlos Ghosn, who authorised the sale, has been sceptical about the team's involvement in F1 for some time. The team did itself no favours in its attempt to remain in the sport when it suffered the embarrassment of the race-fixing scandal in September.