Russian billionaire Mazepin linked to Renault F1 team investment or purchase

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

As the financial impact of the coronavirus is felt, Dmitry Mazepin has been linked to either investing or buying the Renault Formula 1 team.

The Russian billionaire has been trying to enter the sport for several years, first trying to purchase Force India after it went into administration in 2018, and later rumours of talks with Williams also emerged.

In both cases, nothing came about, but with the French manufacturer now facing cuts after taking a 5bn Euro government, their F1 team is thought to be one possible casualty.

That, Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport claims, could be Mazepin's opportunity to finally achieve his F1 ambition, whether it be through investing in Renault or buying the Enstone-based operation outright.

Should it happen, his son Nikita, who currently competes in F2, would almost certainly become the immediate favourite to partner Esteban Ocon next year.

Commenting on the future of Renault in F1 though, team boss Cyril Abiteboul continues to point at the future regulation changes and their history as reasons for the company to continue.

"We've been in Formula 1 since the '70s," he told Autosport. 

"We've been loyal to Formula 1 and clearly as we look forward I think it's important to stay true to your roots, to where you're coming from, to your history, not just because of loyalty but also because it means something in the narrative that you can appeal to today's and tomorrow's customers.

"It's a major crisis, so it's difficult to assume now what will be really the (global economic) effect," Abiteboul acknowledged of the coronavirus.

"But all the things that are happening [in F1]: better money distribution from prize fund, lower budget cap.. much lower than it was and we've been pushing for years for this type of figures, so frankly.. will probably be very good for us. Very close to the level at which we've been operating.

"It's a much better business model in my opinion. If conditions were good enough for a number of manufacturers to join the sport in the past, they will be even better tomorrow."

Also Read:

Though nothing official has been announced on the matter, Abiteboul also appeared to confirm rumours of a future freeze on engine development.

"We've been able to push for containing the crazy development race on the engine, and it's really insane what we've been spending on the engine, and finally that's going to change," he added.

"Our voice has finally been heard as maybe a voice that is representing common sense.

"All of that is pointing in the right direction for those who are already in the sport, I have a firm belief into that."