Alain Prost has played down reports he is set to return to F1 as a team owner. The paddock grapevine has suggested that as Renault looks to acquire Lotus, the deal will involve Prost stepping up his current ambassadorial role to actually buy into the Enstone team.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport says the buyout deal is now basically done, with Renault having signed a letter of intent. It is said that the full formalisation of the project could now take a further six weeks. As for Prost's role, it has been rumoured that Prost could take up a position similar to that at Mercedes for fellow F1 legend Niki Lauda, who in 2013 bought into the team and is currently the non-executive chairman.
Prost told German television in Singapore that "I will not be the team boss". While it is expected that Prost, 60, will have a prominent, Lauda-type role, the quadruple world champion has clarified that he is not buying into Renault's works team. "It was never planned that way," he said. "I have never asked for Renault shares." And he also urges the media to be cautious in its buyout reports, insisting: "It makes no sense to talk about something before it is 100 per cent for sure." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing