Mike Stevens | May 14, 2009

The proposed Formula One boycott has gathered strength after Renault became the latest heavyweight manufacturer to reconsider its involvement in the sport.

The French manufacturer opposes the introduction of two sets of regulations for next year, which will provide budget-capped teams with a variety of technical freedoms and scope for innovation including a movable rear wing.

Renault maintains it is supportive of measures designed to reduce the cost of participating in Formula One, but not as currently proposed by the FIA.

President of the Renault F1 Team, Bernard Rey, said the automaker cannot continue its involvement in a two-tiered championship, despite the category playing a key role in its marketing strategy.

“Renault has always considered Formula One as the pinnacle of motor sport and the perfect stage to demonstrate technical excellence,” he said.

“We remain committed to the sport, however we cannot be involved in a championship operating with different sets of rule.”


F1 boss Flavio Briatore said his team is keen to enter discussions in an attempt to negotiate a solution but condemned the FIA for ignoring the pleas of FOTA.

“Our aim is to reduce costs while maintaining the high standards that make Formula One one of the most prestigious brands on the market,” he said.

“We want to achieve this in a coordinated manner with the regulatory and commercial bodies, and we refuse to accept unilateral governance handed out by the FIA.”

“If the decisions announced by the World Council on the 29th of April 2009 are not revised, we have no choice but to withdraw from the FIA Formula One World Championship at the end of 2009."

Renault’s announcement brings the number of teams threatening to withdraw from Formula One to five, with BMW also expected to make an announcement in the near future.

An emergency meeting between FOTA, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and FIA President Max Mosley has been scheduled for the end of the week, with the parties set to thrash out a compromise agreement.

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