David Richards to take over at Renault?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Much of the reaction to the departures of Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds from Renault have so far been focussed on what it says about the Singaproe crash scandal.

But the sudden loss of the managing director and director of engineering means the team are faced with a serious operational problem – assuming, of course, they aren’t thrown out of the championship on Monday.

According to an article on Speed TV, David Richards was spotted at Renault’s Enstone factory recently, leading to suggestions that the Prodrive boss could be about to step in.

Richards briefly ran the team when it was still known as Benetton. He took over from Briatore, who had set up a company to supply customer Renault-derived engines. Richards was replaced by Rocco Benetton later the following year.

Could this prove a way for Prodrive to finally break into F1? Richards has made two bids to enter F1 with his team in the last three years. On the first occasion his application was accepted by the FIA but withdrawn after the governing body failed to introduce rules allowing customer cars.

Prodrive were also among the unsuccessful applicants for a place on the F1 grid in 2010, possibly because the team preferred Mercedes engines over the FIA’s supply of Cosworths. The company also looked at buying the Honda assets at the end of last year.

Is Richards the right man for Renault? Have your say in the comments.

Update: I’ve just heard from a source of my own that Richards was at the Renault factory today.

Renault Singapore crash controversy