Could Renault F1 be in trouble? - Minister admits French automaker 'may disappear'

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Renault F1 Team. Image: Javier Martínez dela Puente / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images
Renault F1 Team. Image: Javier Martínez dela Puente / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

France's finance minister has admitted Renault may "disappear" as a result of the corona crisis.

It was reported last week that the government, which owns a 15 percent stake in the French carmaker, will step in with a EUR 5 billion loan to rescue the embattled marque.

But minister Bruno Le Maire has told Europe 1 radio that the loan will not be granted until "we know what Renault's strategy is".

He admitted that Renault is in "serious financial difficulty", confirming: "Yes, Renault may disappear."

Renault has organised a press conference for Wednesday 27 May, and there are fears and rumours that a severe restructuring plan could involve the axing of the F1 program.

Team boss Cyril Abiteboul has denied those rumours, and took part in the latest discussions in F1 where the budget cap for 2021 will be dropped to $175 million before diminishing further to $135m by 2023.

"I am following the news that I hope that despite the situation in the industry, Renault will continue in Formula 1," said French F1 driver Pierre Gasly.

"Renault has been a big part of the history of this sport," the Alpha Tauri driver added.  "As a Frenchman and a fan of F1, I want to see them continuing and fighting for the titles."

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