14 Jan 2011

Renault put a silencer on French anthem in F1

12:10 pm on 14 January 2011

The Renault Formula One team has slapped a silencer on the French national anthem after announcing it will race under a British licence this season.

With no active French drivers in Formula One and no French grand prix since 2008, Renault was the last team flying the flag for a country whose heritage and language permeates the sport from chassis to grand prix and on to parc ferme.

The British-based sportscar company Lotus, owned by Malaysian carmaker Proton, has joined as title sponsor and significant stakeholder this season after Renault sold its shares.

Team principal Eric Boullier, who's French, says Lotus is an English manufacturer and if Renault wins the British national anthem will be played.