British race car and vehicle engineering specialist Prodrive is rumoured to be interested in acquiring Renault's Formula One team.

The future of the team has been uncertain following the withdrawal of other car manufacturers such as Honda, Toyota and BMW from the high profile but very expensive sport.

French newspaper L'Equipe reported earlier that Renault was considering a deal with Prodrive and planned to continue as an engine supplier to the team and Red Bull while the Autosport website said today that Renault's executive committee had met in Paris on Thursday, ahead of a main board meeting next week, to discuss the issue.

Prodrive is run by David Richards, the former Benetton and BA-Honda team boss who is also chairman of sportscar maker Aston Martin.

The company secured a slot to enter Formula One in 2008 but withdrew due to uncertainty over the sport's future regulations. Richards told reporters two weeks ago that he had submitted a proposal to enter a team onto one of the spare spaces on next year's Grand Prix grid.

He said: "Prodrive did put in a proposal but was turned down.  We were asked to make some changes to proposal and I wasn't prepared to do that. But I don't rule it out for the future."

A spokesman for Prodrive, which is based near Renault's Enstone factory in central England, would not confirm or deny the latest rumours adding: "We proved our credentials earlier this year when we had a strong business case for an entry, but having had an engine deal with Mercedes-Benz in place we were not willing to sacrifice our competitiveness."

The Renault F1 team made no comment although it said last month that the automaker would decide its future by the end of the year.

The team was handed a suspended permanent ban in September for its involvement in a race-fixing controversy which resulted in ex-principal Flavio Briatore being barred for life. Briatore is appealing that ban, with a verdict due in January.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more