Lopez confirms Renault interest

Entrepreneur Gerard Lopez has today confirmed his interest in purchasing Renault’s Formula One team.

Lopez is co-founder and managing partner of the Luxembourg-based Mangrove Capital Partners which is one of Europe’s leading venture capital firms.

He is also involved in driver management via the Gravity sports organisation which looks after several promising young racers.

Lopez faces competition, however, from former Benetton and BAR team principal David Richards, while it is understood two other figures are also in negotiations with the French manufacturer.

Speaking at the Motor Sport Business Forum in Monaco regarding his interest, Lopez said: “We are very opportunistic.

“We have been in F1 for quite a while as friends to lots of people there, we have done some business in the environment, and never thought about getting more heavily involved than that.

“The situation is such now that it presents an opportunity for new teams or new investors in a time, not of uncertainty, but of change. We are in the middle of times of change.

“We have looked at one other opportunity, and that is about it.

“We believe there is a chance now to enter the sport and build on a platform that will reinvent itself, and we can be part of that reinvention.”

Assessing his plans for Renault, he added: “It would be very different from a start-up team.

“If we were to do a deal with Renault, we would still be basing ourselves as a constructors’ team, but it will be a different kind of business.

“For us, it is important to confirm the stability over time.

“The business opportunities should rely not on making more out of the team, but it should be about making money out of the business platform we have.”

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