Renault keeps team in F1 for 2010 (and Red Bull will keep using their engines)

2010 F1 season

Renault will race on in 2010

Renault will race on in 2010

Renault has confirmed its F1 team will remain in the sport in 2010.

It will also continue to supply engines to Red Bull. A statement issued by the team said:

In 2010, the team will retain its name, its identity and the core ingredients that led to the successes achieved in 2005 and 2006. The team will continue to be supplied with engines by its sister company in Viry-Ch??tillon, which is also pleased to have received a renewed commitment from Red Bull Racing for the 2010 season.

The team has sold a large stake to Luxembourg-based Genii Capital. Here’s the statement in full:

Renault has decided to maintain its commitment to Formula One and welcomes the perspective of a strategic partnership with Genii Capital, a Luxemburg based firm specialized in new technologies, brand management and motor sport. Following the proposed sale of a large stake of Renault F1 Team to Genii, both partners will operate the team together. The letter of intent signed by the two companies should be concluded in early 2010.

In 2010, the team will retain its name, its identity and the core ingredients that led to the successes achieved in 2005 and 2006. The team will continue to be supplied with engines by its sister company in Viry-Ch??tillon, which is also pleased to have received a renewed commitment from Red Bull Racing for the 2010 season.

After 35 years in the sport, Renault today announces a new phase for its F1 programme, consistent with Formula One?s drive for cost efficiencies. Formula One remains one of the biggest sporting spectacles in terms of annual television audiences and media exposure. Renault therefore believes that the impact of Formula One in terms of image, and brand awareness worldwide, particularly in new, emerging markets, will continue to play a key role in fulfilling the company?s growth objectives in years ahead.

Bernard Rey, Renault F1 Team President, said: ??I am delighted to welcome Genii Capital as our new strategic partner as 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. Today?s announcement also confirms Renault?s commitment and trust in the sport?s governing bodies to improve the green credentials of Formula One.??

Indeed, in making such a decision, Renault not only demonstrates its commitment to its fans across the world, its employees in Enstone and in Viry, and the FIA, FOA and FOTA but it also believes in the positive impact of promoting relevant technologies in synergy with its product plan. “With the ongoing evolutions of the Formula One regulations, Renault will be able to entertain its fans, while promoting a leaner and sounder Championship. We will show Renault’s skill when it comes to developing high-performance, fuel-efficient cars” said Bernard Rey, Renault F1 Team President.

The important cost reduction measures, made possible by the collective work within FOTA, have already improved significantly the operating cost base. With the anticipated sale of a stake in its F1 operational base in the United Kingdom to Genii Capital, Renault achieves today another step that will definitely bring F1 participation to an affordable level for the Group. In addition, the new partnership will contribute to procuring the team the resources to compete sustainably at the highest level, and creates a great opportunity to modernise its governance.

The team has already announced Robert Kubica will drive for them next year.

Update 1

CEO of Genii Capital Eric Lux on the Renault deal:

Our long-term vision for this challenging venture aims to return Renault to the forefront of Formula 1. Together with Renault, we intend to run the team with the same values as any of our other investments, prioritising ambitious performance targets without neglecting cost efficiency. We strongly believe that on-track performance can be compatible with business performance, and we will use all our entrepreneurial spirit and commercial know-how to achieve this goal.
Eric Lux

Update 2

Red Bull boss Christian Horner welcomed the extended engine supply deal:

2009 has been Red Bull Racing?s finest season to date. In one year, we?ve achieved six wins and four one-two finishes, none of which would have been possible without the excellent support and assistance we have received from our partners at Renault. We are extremely happy with the way they work with us and are looking forward to continuing our fruitful partnership with Renault in 2010.
Christian Horner

Genii Capital statement:

Image (C) Renault / LAT

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40 comments on Renault keeps team in F1 for 2010 (and Red Bull will keep using their engines)

  1. Heckie said on 16th December 2009, 11:07

    I was always surprised that BMW, Honda and Toyota never stayed as engine manufacturers with some of the existing/new teams. They would get the same kudos if they won races/championships, but for a far smaller outlay.

    • Icthyes said on 16th December 2009, 17:01

      I’ve been thinking this for a while.

      Have one “standard” supplier – in this case, Cosworth – and limit all other manufacturers to one or two teams each, starting from 2012 or some future date. That way there’ll be diversity of manufacturers and independents competing against each other, without either the massive fallout from manufacturers leaving the sport or the scramble for pure racing teams to be on the grid.

  2. It seems that someone somewhere wants to keep Dave Richards out of F1. He always struck me as Branson-lite, but he must have ****** someone off in a big way!

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 16th December 2009, 11:28

      Actually, the terms of this deal allow Renault to regain control of the team once the economic situation has stablilised. That’s not a luxury they’d be afforded if Prodrive purchased the team.

      Besides, Formula One doesn’t need Prodrive.

      • Dougie said on 16th December 2009, 13:09

        As much as I am very pro Dave Richards and Prodrive, I agree whole heartedly with PMs sentiment.

        Having got a bit more background of Lopez he’s got my respect no question, and I will be supporting the teams return to the top. I want to see other teams do well as well mind you. It’s definitely the right decision for Renault.

        Coming back to DR, if he wanted to be in F1 he would be, however he obviously doesn’t want it bad enough… and that’s fair enough.

        • With regards to Dave Richards and Prodrive, I don’t think it is necessarily that he doesn’t want to be in F1 enough, more that if he enters F1 he wants it to be a relative success, not to just make up the numbers and for the team to be in trouble financially.

  3. damonsmedley said on 16th December 2009, 11:10

    Thank goodness for that! I couldn’t bear the thought of another car manufacturer pulling out…

    It will be an intersesting grid next year with so many new drivers and teams.

    • WidowFactory said on 16th December 2009, 11:18

      They are pulling out – they are selling the team to this investor and just keeping the Renault name for another year.

      • Bigbadderboom said on 16th December 2009, 18:24

        I see it as liquidating the cash assets of the F1 team with a view to a repurchase in the future, it’s simply the happy medium for the time being, keeping the Renault board, the loyal race fans and investors happy. I’m sure Renault will increase their stake again should they see some success.

  4. Thank goodness. It would have been difficult to abandon my support of Renault after all these years if they’d sold to Prodrive. Thankfully they have seen sense.

  5. I welcome the news. I think Renault have taken the option to sell part of the team while seeing how things develop, they are keeping a foot in F1 if they decide to become a full manufacturer in the future or it could be the first stage of just becoming and engine supplier again or even a complete withdrawal.

  6. See Ecclestones muddy paws all over this. He and his CVC bosses are terrified of the manufacturer exodus turning into a landslide.

    So to ‘stop the rot’ as he sees it Renault will appear to the non-technical as ‘still running their F1 operation’…except they’re not of course. Renault will in future be simply an engine supplier and the Enstone operation will become financially completely independent.

    It’s just that the badge on the cars will say ‘Renault’

    In a manufacturer world where a Nissan is really a Renault, a Ferrari is made by Fiat money, a Chrysler is really a Mercedes built on the cheap, a Saab is really an Opel/Vauxhall Vectra and a Mazda is really a Ford, why are we so surprised that those lousy words ‘Brand Image’ have come at last to F1 ?

    IMO Branson will fall flat on his expensively attired posterior in about two years when he discovers the truth about the things you have to do to be successful in F1. And I would’nt be at all surprised if Lopez pulls out before him. Both by then totally bewildered but much poorer and wiser men….

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 16th December 2009, 11:50

      IMO Branson will fall flat on his expensively attired posterior in about two years when he discovers the truth about the things you have to do to be successful in F1. And I would’nt be at all surprised if Lopez pulls out before him. Both by then totally bewildered but much poorer and wiser men….

      Richard Branson is probably the savviest businessman in the world right now. Gerard Lopez made a billion dollars investing in Skype. They are both very intelligent men; if they can’t succeed in Formula One, who can?

      • Adrian said on 16th December 2009, 13:13

        if they can’t succeed in Formula One, who can?

        Ron Dennis amongst others.. ;-)

      • Prisoner Monk

        Point !

        …..just not too sure they’re any more savvy than BMW and Toyota Execs

        Time will tell mate !

        • Bigbadderboom said on 16th December 2009, 18:31

          The whole problem with the execs at Toyota and BMW is they rely on various lines of information, misinformation and opinions from people with vested interests. The reason Ron was successful is he KNOWS the sport. His decisions are based solely on the right information at the right time interpreted by himself, with his vast knowledge and understanding of F1.
          In terms of commercial awareness Bransons approach and his modelling of the way in which the teams exposure benefits his brands will not be solely dependent on their success. Branson specialise in developing failed businesses and start ups. I think this is right up his street. He is about to make an absolute packet from the refloat of the old NTL business. It would not suprise me if he off loaded the team in the future, but it would not be for reasons of failure.

  7. I’m happy with this deal but sad that it came to this with Renault. I doubt Renault will ever really leave the sport and if they do they will be back again.
    This seems like a wise move. Renault have time and can keep an eye on how things are going to develop. F1 and the economy are changing all the time so this is a good move.
    And I stand by what I’ve said before- the Renault is a good looking car. Look at that picture! It’s also much better without ING. :)

  8. What about the drivers?

    • Renault? Kubica will drive for them although it is though his contract is only for a year. Don’t know about the 2nd seat, Glock and Kovy were linked there but they’ve been signed by others. There is the chance of Kobayashi for all of his fans but not sure how likely that is.

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 16th December 2009, 12:16

      No word, but it’s probable that Kubica will stay. The train that is Scumacher’s possible return to the sport gains more and more momentum every day, and little is being done to stop it. If Kubica left Renault, his only real alternatives would be a Toro Rosso, Campos, Sauber or USF1 seat. They’re not attractive prospects.

      As for the second driver, it could well come down to Ho-Pin Tung (tested for Renault, a part of Lopez’s Gravity Sports Management), Kamui Kobayashi (Lopez has promised to sign him to Renault’s young driver program, which has become a part of Gravity) or Vitaly Petrov (if Lopez is as tight with MegaFon – Petrov’s backers – as has been suggested).

      • Kubica’s management wants clarification. Not surprising but he is running out of options.

      • Impressive inside knowledge PM……

        Think it’s a pity they don’t rate the young firebrand Kobayashi enough to offer him a seat.

        OK he was a bit wayward in those two races he did, but boy was he impressive ! He showed every other 2009 Rookie the way to do it. I also remember a certain young and wayward Jordan and Benetton driver of a few years back who caused a great many ‘incidents’ in his first few races. He scared the pants off a lot of more seasoned F1 drivers…. think he was from Kerpen in Germany. Now what was his name ?

        • three4three said on 16th December 2009, 21:27

          Looks like Kobayashi could be heading to Sauber if not Renault, as discussed in the forum:

        • Prisoner Monkeys said on 17th December 2009, 0:36

          Thanks, Leon. It’s not really inside knowledge, it’s just a case of listening to what’s ben said and being able to separate the fact from the fiction.

          As for Kobayashi, I think he’s a little over-rated. A lot of people are confusing his inexperience for fearlessness. During the Brazilian Grand Prix, Button got on the radio about Kobayashi’s driving moves, while Nakajima commented after he’d been taken out: Kobayashi was moving around too much when there is an unspoken rule that says you are allowed to block once to defend, but if they have another run going into a corner, you can’t do anything. On the lap Button got by Kobayashi, he opened a three and a half second buffer in a single lap. And as for Abu Dhabi, Button was in a heavy car with green tyres on a circuit that was notable for the fact that it was taking a long time for tyres to come up to heat, while Kobayashi was one-stopping, running light and had good rubber. I could have passed Button under those circumstances.

          I think people are already over-rating him and making too much of his races.

  9. wasiF1 said on 16th December 2009, 12:14

    Good news that means Kubica can keep his seat,now who will be his teammate.

  10. epic!

  11. mp4-19b said on 16th December 2009, 12:37

    I read somewhere that Renault might re-sign Piquet Jr. Any info?

  12. I’m not sure the manager of Kubica agrees on that…I read some notes he could be wanting to rediscuss his contract. I think he’s still having some cards for Mercedes seat, and he wants to play them all.
    The fact that Renault sold a part of the tema to an unknowm Louxembourgh company looks like they don’t want to invest that much money…to me it is not that good news.
    I’m afraid they can be the slowest team of the group.

  13. If Kubica has a get out clause with this deal then I don’t see where he can go …the only real possibility is Merceded and the Schuey links are getting stronger.
    I feel sorry for Robert but at same time a deal was obviously going to be done. No idea what goes on behind close doors or in contracts and I think Robert will stay but if he breaks the terms and does leave I will be very disappointed. I prefer agreements honoured but then again I’m getting really ahead of myself here!

  14. One of my concerns is that the pathetic penalties Renault got for cheating will still be in place and I guess they still will, won’t they…?

    (Keith. It would be great if you could always enable the download button on the drop.io as it’s useful for example in being able to email the document to myself at work so I can read it, or the big wigs will pull me up for constantly being on your site lol)

  15. Shame…

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