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Is Renault shopping for an F1 team?

2015-02-23 08:45

EXCITING PROSPECT: Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo has set a lap record even before the 2015 season has started. Image: Newspress.

LONDON, England - Renault is said to be considering buying a team and returning to Formula 1 as a Constructor and not merely an engine-suplier.

Bruised by the 'crash-gate' affair, the French automaker sold its England-based works team to Gerard Lopez in 2010. He renamed it Lotus but according to Germany's Auto Motor and Sport, Renault is now considering buying it back.

AMS correspondent Michael Schmidt says Renault is unhappy with its situation: spending a lot of money as Red Bull's works supplier, only to be dwarfed from a marketing perspective by the fizzy drinks company.

BETTER STRATEGY

Not only that but Red Bull has been highly critical of its partner and has been been making its own moves to improve the turbo V6 engine, including bringing in a former Mercedes guru, Mario Illien.

Schmidt said Renault was considering - internally - whether running a full works team again, as it did when Fernando Alonso won the 2005 and 2006 titles, might now be the better strategy. "On Renault's shortlist are Lotus, Force India, Sauber and Toro Rosso."

He added that Bob Bell, a former leading Renault figure who recently left Mercedes, might be involved.

AMS said Toro Rosso, Red Bull's second team, could be the front-runner as it is the only debt-free team on the list.

A bonus was that, alongside Red Bull, it was the only currently Renault-powered team.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.

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