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Briatore to stay at Renault until 2008 06 Sep 2006

Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault F1 Managing Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, United States Grand Prix, Race Day, Indianapolis, USA, 2 July 2006

Renault announced on Wednesday that current managing director Flavio Briatore has renewed his contract for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Briatore has been in charge since Renault bought the former Benetton team back in 2000.

"I am delighted to continue to lead Renault's Formula One challenge,” enthused the Italian. “We know how important it is to manage change in an organisation, and we have a close-knit, dynamic team capable of fighting for victory. I am confident Renault will be a major force in Formula One in the years to come."

Renault also confirmed that their current technical management structure, including Bob Bell, Pat Symonds, Andre Laine and Rob White, will continue with the team. In addition they announced Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen as their 2007 driver line-up, with Brazilians Ricardo Zonta and Nelson Piquet joining as test drivers.

Renault President Carlos Ghosn commented: "Under Flavio's leadership, the team achieved a remarkable double in 2005 by winning the drivers' and constructors' championships, and maintaining that competitiveness in 2006. I am counting on the determination, talent and effectiveness of Flavio and the entire Renault Team, under the Presidency of Alain Dassas, to once again take Renault to the forefront of Formula One."

Renault believe the continuity that retaining Briatore and their technical team will provide could prove crucial as they face a number of other changes in 2007 and beyond. Next season sees the departure of their long-term tyre supplier Michelin and the introduction of homologated engines, while a new set of technical regulations is set to come into force in 2008.