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MARCH 4, 2009

Renault threatens to withdraw from F1

It has been expected for a while, particularly given that this year's Renault F1 is not looking like a world-beater, but Renault has now officially said that it will quit F1 unless the team receives a bigger share of F1's revenues.

Renault's chief operating officer Patrick Pelata said at the Geneva Motor Show that Renault must reduce its F1 costs beyond what has been agreed by the teams.

"We™re seeking to bring down contract costs and receive more of the revenues from broadcast rights, circuit fees and trackside sponsorship," he said. "We want to remain part of the emotion and the spectacle of Formula 1, but there are really no taboos."

It is expected that the Formula One Teams™ Association (FOTA) will announce tomorrow in Geneva that it wants to see the teams getting a bigger share of the money. At the moment the teams get half the money. The rest goes to Formula One Management Ltd. The share of revenues is set until the end of 2012 and Bernie Ecclestone says this is contracted and that he is going to stick to the contract. Renault also wants to reduce staff costs which are in the region of $47m each year. Much of this goes to Fernando Alonso.