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Renault mulling option to buy Sahara Force India F1 team

Snapshot: Autosport has learnt that the French car manufacturer Renault is in talks with the Indian outfit Sahara Force India to buy a majority stake.

It's been long since the rumors of Renault parting its way with the long-time partner Red Bull are floating in the racing circuit. While Renault supplied engine to the four-time world champion from 2010-2013, problem started arising from the previous season. And with the champion Sebastian Vettel leaving the team for Ferrari, citing problems with the car, matters only grew worse.

And in the recent turn of the events, Autosport has learnt that the French car manufacturer is in talks with the Indian outfit to buy a majority stake. Considering the performance of the Sahara Force India F1 team ever since its inception, it will be no surprise that the Indian investors decide to go Renault way and sell the stakes.

Renault's deal with Red Bull to supply the engines for their F1 team will expire at the end of the next season. And from there, Renault will have three options - either to continue supplying engines to Red Bull, quit the Formula One altogether or race as a full-time team, with its own engine and own cars, as Ferrari and Mercedes do.

The earlier option of continuing as the engine supplier to the Red Bull is highly unlikely as the reports of Red Bull meeting with team Mercedes to supply engine are already open in the market. Quitting the F1 is also not an easy decision, as Renualt has already made a big name in the racing circuit. And so, Red Bull becoming a full-time manufacturer can't be ruled out.

Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal has told Autosport that Renault has already done a meeting with the Force India team and they have asked for another meeting. Dr. Mallya also met Renault ambassador and consultant Alain Prost on Saturday night in Belgium. "Yesterday was a conversation from their side to update me on the fact no decision has been taken, they haven't made a proposal about the board of Renault," said Mallya.

"Secondly, he wanted to know how I would feel about shareholding. Would we be willing to consider being a minority. If so, what would be our aspirations," added Mallya. "We talked generally about their interest in about potentially becoming a constructor, that they are talking to multiple teams and about what is my vision and what is possible and not possible.

Renault is in talks with a number of teams, including Lotus as informed by Prost to Mallya. "They asked me: 'Would you be prepared to part with a majority stake?', said Mallya. "I said it has to be considered, in light of a potential offer, and secondly I asked what are the minority protection rights you offer?

Whatsoever may be the outcome, we hope that Renault don't quit the F1 extravaganza, as most of the manufacturers do at some point of the time.

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Source - Autosport

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