Renault commits to the long term

Renault chairman Patrick Faure scotched rumours that Renault might withdraw from Formula One by claiming that the manufacturer is committed for the next three years. Speculation had it that Renault was thinking of concentrating on the World Rally...

Renault chairman Patrick Faure scotched rumours that Renault might withdraw from Formula One by claiming that the manufacturer is committed for the next three years. Speculation had it that Renault was thinking of concentrating on the World Rally Championship but Faure said negotiations were going on to secure long term contracts in F1.

"We are going to negotiate very quickly with our drivers, with our sponsors, the renewal of long term contracts and sign a certain number of deals for the years 2005, 2006 and 2007," he told reporters at Interlagos. "So clearly if we are doing that it means we are there long term."

Team principal Flavio Briatore is contracted until the end of 2005 and Faure hinted that Briatore could stay longer. "Every year he has reached all his targets. If in 2005 he does the same...I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be with us in 2006."

Another rumour was that former champion and team owner Alain Prost could replace Briatore but Faure dismissed that idea also. "This is pure nonsense," he remarked. "I am a good friend of Alain, I meet him regularly, and there has never even been one word on this hypothesis. There is absolutely no ground for this rumour, it will not happen."

Renault is currently third in the constructors' standings after losing out to BAR in the last couple of races. Next year Faure wants Renault to be number one. "The target next year is to be really fighting for the title," he commented.

In regard to the French Grand Prix, which is only a provisional date on next year's calendar, Faure believes the Magny Cours event will go ahead. "It's like the weather here, it's getting clearer and clearer now," he said. "There will be a French Grand Prix next year."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Alain Prost , Flavio Briatore