Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Renault stays in Formula One, Kubica has questions

After several week of speculation regarding the future of the Anglo-French outfit, today Renault have announced that it has sold a large stake in the team to Luxembourg company Genii Capital and will be remaining in Formula One as Renault.

Eric Lux, CEO of Genii Capital, said: "We are delighted to have been selected as Renault's strategic partner for the Renault F1 Team. Our long-term vision for this challenging venture aims to return Renault to the forefront of Formula 1.

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.”

It is good news on the car manufacturer front that F1 did not lose another after losing Honda, Toyota and BMW. It also gives Renault a chance to rebuild a reputation that has suffered a bit in recent years with a downturn in performance from the titles years of 2005 and 2006 as well as the damaging 2008 Singapore Grand Prix race fixing scandal.

However, Renault's supposed lead driver for 2010, Robert Kubica and his management want some clarification on the deal in terms of who is in control of what at the team. Is Genii Capital "a sleeping partner or a controlling partner" in the words of Kubica manager, Daniele Morelli. "I don't see any fundamental issue that creates a concern; our fundamental issue is that we have a car that performs. So the fundamental issue is at which stage is the development of the car? The feeling is okay. The concern is maybe that the situation has created a delay because uncertainty can slow down the endeavors of the staff."

It is a legitimate concern, but in my opinion just a matter of communicating to the driver so he has confidence in the team's progress and that racing is still the team's core function. Renault still have very good chassis and engine teams and certainly have shown they are capable of titles.

No comments: