Renault in Talks to Take Over Force India F1 Team
27 August 2015 - Autoblog
Renault looks increasingly likely to rejoin the ranks of Formula 1 constructors in the coming years, in addition to the French company's long role as an engine supplier.
According to Autosport, brand ambassador Alain Prost is holding discussions with Force India to purchase a majority stake in the squad. The sides have had at least two meetings this year, but no deal has yet been put in place.
"We talked generally about their interest in about potentially becoming a constructor, that they are talking to multiple teams and about what is my vision and what is possible and not possible," Force India boss Vijay Mallya said to Autosport. Rather than an outright purchase, Renault is suggesting taking a controlling interest in the team. For that to work, Mallya would need to get the blessing of the squad's board, but he believes such a deal would be possible under the right terms.
Renault currently sits at a crossroads in its future in F1 because the engine deal with Red Bull and Toro Rosso expires at the end of next season. Given those squads' current poor performance in the championship, a new contract with them seems quite unlikely. Force India is just the latest possible future partner to emerge, though. The initial rumors suggested Lotus as a possible target for purchase because Renault previously owned the team. There were also negotiations with Toro Rosso. Leaving F1 completely to focus on Formula E has even been suggested. Only time will tell which direction Renault chooses to go.