Mike Stevens | Dec 17, 2009

RENAULT WILL REMAIN in Formula 1 after selling a substantial share in its team to Luxembourg investment company Genii Capital.

The French outfit’s F1 future appeared in doubt following an emergency board meeting in November, when the Renault board announced it would re-evaluate its commitment to the sport.

While there were initial concerns Renault would withdraw from the sport completely, the prohibitive cost of shutting down operations prompted the company to search for a new buyer, with Gerard Lopez’s Genii Capital and Prodrive emerging as favourites.

Despite Prodrive’s previous racing pedigree however, Renault opted for Genii Capital’s offer, with the two set to manage the team as a partnership.

Renault F1 team president Bernard Rey 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 1. Today's announcement also confirms Renault's commitment and trust in the sport's governing bodies to improve the green credentials of Formula 1.

“With the ongoing evolutions of the Formula 1 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.”

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Although the team’s future is now secure, contracted driver Robert Kubica has refused to commit to the team until the finer details of the purchase are revealed.

Kubica’s manager, Daniele Morelli said he is concerned development of Renault’s 2010 challenger has been stunted by the uncertainty surrounding the team’s future.

“I don't have sufficient information to judge the new partner but I must believe that Renault have researched their new partners because they have the responsibility of the Renault brand,” he said to BBC Sport.

“I would imagine Renault has very strong guarantees about what the future will be. 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 (about that) is okay. The concern is maybe that the situation has created a delay because uncertainty can slow down the endeavours of the staff.”

Kubica is considered a strong option to fill the second seat at Mercedes Grand Prix should Michael Schumacher’s planned comeback fail to come to fruition.

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