The Renault name remain in Formula 1 motor racing next year, according to BBC Sport. But the French company's F1 team will have a new owner while Renault keeps a 25% stake, said the broadcaster on Friday, quoting unnamed sources.

An official announcement is expected next week after the team has been given the news on Friday.
It has also been agreed that the team will race as Renault in 2010.

The two front-runners in the battle to take over the team were Luxembourg businessman Gerard Lopez, and David Richards, the boss of the British motor racing engineering firm Prodrive and former team principal of Benetton and BAR in F1.

The BBC said that Lopez is considered the favourite to take over Renault under the auspices of his Genii Capital investment company.

The team's future has been in doubt since Renault held an emergency board meeting in early November to discuss whether to continue in F1. Further meetings were held this week with the final decision taken at an executive board meeting in mid-week.

The BBC speculated that Polish star Robert Kubica will be retained as lead driver after signing a contract to replace double world champion Fernando Alonso, who has moved to Ferrari.

Renault's decision to question its F1 participation came after a race-fixing scandal and the team's worst season since it returned to the sport as a constructor in 2002.

It finished eighth out of 10 teams in the world championship, with the best result Alonso's third place in the Singapore Grand Prix.

Renault were handed a ban from F1, suspended for two years, after being found guilty of asking Nelson Piquet to crash deliberately in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to aid Alonso's chances of winning.

Team boss Flavio Briatore and engineering director Pat Symonds were banned from motorsport for their part in the conspiracy, Briatore for life and Symonds for five years.

Both are contesting their bans in the French courts, with a verdict due in the New Year.

Piquet was not punished by governing body the FIA after agreeing to blow the whistle on the affair, even though Symonds gave evidence that the plan was the Brazilian's idea.

Two of the team's major sponsors, the Dutch bank ING and the Spanish insurance company Mutua Madrilena withdrew immediately over the affair.

If Renault had withdrawn from F1 completely, it would have been a serious blow to the credentials of the sport following Honda's decision to quit before the start of the 2009 season, BMW's decision to pull out in July and Toyota quitting the sport in November.

BMW has sold its team back to Swiss founder Peter Sauber, while four new teams have entered.

The Lotus name is returning with a new team set up by Air Asia founder Tony Fernandes.

The Virgin brand, which sponsored Brawn in 2009, has joined forces with the successful junior category race team Manor to form Virgin Grand Prix, which will be launched next Tuesday.

They will be joined by Spain's Campos Meta 1 and America's US F1.

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