According to the several reports in France and Great Britain, David Richards and his Prodrive organization have been credited with the best chances of buying the majority stake in the Enstone based team, while retaining Renault as engine suppliers.
However, prior to the rookie testing session at Jerez last week, other pieces of information linked a Gerard Lopez group to a potential buyout of the Renault F1 operations.
While most of these reports may be regarded as simple allegations, Ecclestone told The Times newspaper that these two “players” are not alone in their attempt to become team owners in Formula One. The F1 boss confirmed for the aforementioned source that no less than 4 companies are aligned to purchase the Enstone team, and insisted that a definitive decision will be made by Renault by Christmas time.
“Richards is up against more than somebody. There is the Gerard Lopez group, there is David Richards and then there are another two people. I don't think there is any big rush to get something done. (But) I hope it can be done within the next ten days and before everybody breaks up for Christmas,” said the 79-year old Brit.
Renault's board of directors is to meet on January 14 to discuss the future of their F1 operations, and it's expected that a definitive announcement will be made during the very same day.