Renault’s F1 motor racing division has recorded a pre-tax loss of over £3.6 million during the 2006 season.
Despite back-to-back championship wins with over £15.7 million in prize money in 2005, winning drivers such as Spain’s Fernando Alonso attract huge salaries, and so even three new sponsorship deals could not reverse the trend of spiralling costs.
Renault estimate that over a quarter of their costs were due to staffing. Their director, Italian Flavio Briatore, received a salary of £875,000.
Renault’s biggest cost is that of producing the 80 2.4-litre V8 F1 engines every season – but the head office, Renault Group SA, cover some of that expense.