Renault's commitment to Formula One remains strong despite the recent crisis that has enveloped the team, acting team principal Bob Bell said today.
Over the past three weeks, the team has lost team principal Flavio Briatore to an indefinite ban and chief engineer Pat Symonds to a five-year suspension for their roles in Nelson Piquet Jr.'s deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. Two-time world champion driver Fernando Alonso is leaving to join Ferrari for next season.
Major sponsor ING withdrew with the onset of the global economic crisis. That financial downturn had already forced Honda and BMW out of the sport, and there was speculation that the avalanche of bad news would also lead to Renault withdrawing.
"Its been an extremely deep and difficult crisis, not just for the team but for the parent company," Bell said. "The fact Renault has stood by us through all this speaks volumes to their commitment both to the team and to Formula One."
Asked whether he feared that Renault would pull out of F1, Bell said: "They've stood by us and that (answers) the question for you."