Renault to power three teams in 2001?

Renault is set to be the most prolific Formula 1 engine supplier next season, with over a quarter of the grid potentially powered by the Regie's V10s

Renault to power three teams in 2001?

The French manufacturer pulled out of F1 at the end of 1997, leaving its engine programme on tick-over with Supertec, but has now returned in an official capacity. It has bought the Benetton team as its works squad, but is tipped to supply two further teams on a customer basis, according to Autosport magazine.

Renault is now said to be close to confirming Prost as a customer, having originally refused to do a deal unless team boss Alain Prost was removed, and pressure is also being applied on the company to include Minardi in its customer roster.

Should Prost still fail to land the French V10s, its final hope would be to convince Ferrari to supply it with engines in addition to existing customer Sauber. However, Ferrari sources say the company would be loathe to take on the extra burden.

Minardi, meanwhile, is said to be on the verge of being sold to Argentine cable network PSN, which is believed to be buying the 70% shareholding of Gabriele Rumi. Team founder Giancarlo Minardi would retain his 30% stake.

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