Rumors have persisted for a while now that Renault is considering increasing it's involvement in F1 to become a factory team again. The team currently supplies engines to the Red Bull racing team alongside the Red Bull junior team Scuderia Toro Rosso, yet Toro Rosso have now emerged as the team Renault is looking the closest at in terms of buying the team.
Whilst it's an open secret Renault is considering returning to F1 as a works team,preliminary visits with the likes of Sauber,Sahara-Force India and their previous works team Lotus have so far not proved fulfilling. It now appears the team have switched their attention to current engine partner Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Scuderia Toro Rosso now top the teams list as it appears Renault would prefer not to buy out the Lotus or Sahara-Force India teams because of the teams outstanding debts, something Toro Rosso do not have. Four time F1 world champion and Renault ambassador Alain Prost is also known to have convinced the board and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn that a works Renault team is the way forward for the manufacturer.
When questioned about the matter in Melbourne last weekend Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko stated "We might sell STR, but we do not have to." This appears to suggest a potential deal could be done between Red Bull and Renault to sell Scuderia Toro Rosso, with Marko also suggesting in Melbourne that even if Renault do buy Toro Rosso, it may not affect the Red Bull junior driver programme. He commented on this also "Even if Renault takes over STR, we will have cooperation."
Scuderia Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost also gave his thoughts on the rumors in Melbourne by stating "It would be good for Toro Rosso to be together with a manufacturer.For me it would be positive and for the team it would be positive. Tost also added last weekend that Renault had visited the team's Faenza factory "three or four weeks ago", where they "just looked at everything but there have been no negotiations so far".
Renault themselves remain coy on their potential buyout of an existing Formula One team in the near future, although the comments from Red Bull men Helmut Marko and Franz Tost suggest Renault are seriously considering a return to F1 as a works team. This could well be a developing story as the 2015 F1 season goes on, with Scuderia Toro Rosso the most likely team at this early stage to become a fully fledged Renault works team in the future.
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