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Interview - Renault President Carlos Ghosn 31 Jan 2006

Carlos Ghosn (FRA) Chairman of Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, French Grand Prix, Race Day, Magny-Cours, France, 3 July 2005

Appearing at Tuesday’s launch of the new R26 car, Renault President and CEO Carlos Ghosn spoke to the press about how the French car company has gained from competing in Formula One racing and their plans for the future in the sport.

Q: What were the benefits to Renault of the championship win in 2005?
Carlos Ghosn:
Well, there were a lot of benefits. Firstly, I think it was, without any doubt, a great boost to the morale of everybody inside Renault. I am talking about Renault employees, Renault partners, Renault dealers, everybody was very happy because it was a good show, it was a good competition and at the end, Renault won.

On top of this, I think there is a boost in the knowledge of the brand. Obviously the brand in known in Europe or in France, there is no doubt that everybody knows that we are competing there and making a good show in Formula One. But when you go to countries where Renault is not as known as in Europe, like India, or China, or Japan and South-east Asia, then having a good competition, and winning in Formula One, give a big boost and a big improvement in terms of the knowledge, and I would say fame of the brand.

Furthermore, I should say that one of the reasons for which we had the double championship was the reliability of the car. The car never failed, or at least failed much, much less than other competitors, and this is extremely important because it is something we would like consumers to associate with the Renault brand.

What are the team's objectives for 2006?
CG:
To offer a good show, to compete at the highest level and to win again.

What is the future of Formula One at Renault?
CG:
As long as we continue to perform well, we offer a good show, and obviously we are at the top level of Formula One, then there are not questions about the future in Formula One.

Obviously, there is some uncertainty about the conditions in which Formula One will evolve beginning in 2008. This is not a preoccupation of Renault alone, it is a preoccupation for all manufacturers trying to figure out what will be the environment of Formula 1.

But if I eliminate this uncertainty, if I consider that we are going to come to a good resolution of the questions we have, and that Formula One will continue to have a good, fair return on investments for car manufacturers in general and for the winner in particular, then we must be there.

In the meantime, I am counting on the Renault F1 Team, on the team we have in Enstone and the people in Viry-Châtillon to really perform well, to offer us a good show and hopefully bring back the trophy again in 2006.