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Entrepreneur Gerard Lopez eyes bid for Renault F1 team

Ho Pin Tung drives a Renault during young drivers testing in Jerez last week
Renault have not yet decided whether to pull out of Formula 1

Leading European entrepreneur Gerard Lopez has confirmed he is interested in buying Renault's Formula 1 team.

Lopez, co-founder of venture capital firm Mangrove Capital Partners, has links to the sport through driver management agency Gravity.

And he said: "We believe there is a chance to enter the sport and build on a platform that will reinvent itself."

However, Lopez faces competition from Prodrive boss David Richards and two other, unnamed, parties.

It is not yet clear whether Renault will remain in Formula 1, despite having already brought in Poland's Robert Kubica as a replacement for Ferrari signing Fernando Alonso.

The Renault board are due to meet this week to discuss proposals.


And Luxembourg businessman Lopez appears to have stolen a march on his competitors, saying: "We are very opportunistic.

"We have been in F1 for quite a while as friends to lots of people there, we have done some business in the environment, and never thought about getting more heavily involved than that.

"The situation is such now that it presents an opportunity for new teams or new investors in a time, not of uncertainty, but of change. We are in the middle of times of change... and we can be part of that reinvention."

Assessing his plans for Renault, he added: "It would be very different from a start-up team.

"If we were to do a deal with Renault, we would still be basing ourselves as a constructors' team, but it will be a different kind of business.

"For us, it is important to confirm the stability over time.

"The business opportunities should rely not on making more out of the team, but it should be about making money out of the business platform we have."

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone told The Times earlier this week that the Gerard Lopez group, Dave Richards and two other people are interested.

"I don't think there is any big rush to get something done," he said. "But the sooner the better for everybody. I hope it can be done within the next 10 days and before everybody breaks up for Christmas."

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see also
Renault coy on F1 exit decision
05 Nov 09 |  Formula 1
Kubica to join Renault for 2010
07 Oct 09 |  Formula 1

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