MARCH 16, 2001
Renault looking to expand to supply two teams?
THERE are rumors in France that Renault may decide to supply two teams with its V10 engines next year in order to speed up the development of the exciting new units. It is thought likely that if there is a second supply of engines these will be badged as Nissan V10s rather than as Renaults as the French company is in the process of rebuilding the Japanese firm in which it holds a controlling shareholding.
The deal makes sense in that testing in Formula 1 is becoming more and more restricted which means that anyone new entering the sport is at a disadvantage.
There is currently no word on which team would be in line for the engines but an obvious route would be to supply European Minardi. Renault looked very closely at buying the Italian team during the winter but eventually decided against that course of action, leaving the way open for Australia's Paul Stoddart to step in. Stoddart has made no secret of his desire to get a better engine deal in the longer term as this is the key to success in F1.
The other option which Renault might consider is Arrows although Tom Walkinshaw has announced that he has a two-year deal with Asiatech. Walkinshaw tried to talk Renault into supplying him with engines before the French company decided to buy the Benetton team. At the time Walkinshaw was trying to work a deal to link a supply of F1 engines with a deal to build high performance "Renault Sport"-badged cars at his factory in Sweden. That deal did not happen as the Ford Motor Company took over the factory at Uddevalla in Sweden.
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