LONDON, Nov 5 – Renault have held an emergency board meeting in Paris to discuss pulling out of Formula One, on the same day as Toyota announced it was also quitting the sport, according to reports.The French car company was considering whether to remain in Formula One, switch to become an engine supplier only to teams, or exit the sport altogether, the BBC reported.
The outcome of Wednesday’s meeting, attended by Formula One team bosses Bob Bell and Jean-Francois Caubet, was not immediately clear, the Guardian said.
Renault has been dogged in recent months by a race-fix scandal in which they decided not to contest charges that Nelson Piquet was ordered to deliberately crash in Singapore last year to help teammate Fernando Alonso to victory.
Renault’s former team boss was banned from the sport indefinitely and its chief engineer was suspended for five years.
Renault finished a dismal eighth out of 10 in the constructors’ championship after the final race of the season on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.
The meeting came as Formula One was left reeling by Toyota’s decision to quit in response to the economic crisis, just days after tyre manufacturer Bridgestone also pulled out.
Toyota said its decision to leave after this season reflected "the current severe economic realities."
Honda have already withdrawn, while Germany’s BMW have announced they were leaving at the end of the season to cope with the credit crunch.
While F1 attracts millions of viewers, the amount of money it costs to run a team — estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars a year — means it has become an unaffordable luxury for some manufacturers.