Renault F1 has announced that it has recruited the services of Saudi Arabian businessman Tarek E. Obaid as an official partner of the team – as the Enstone-based outfit prepares to embark upon 'an ambitious development programme'.
Mr. Obaid is the co-founder, co-partner and CEO of private oil and gas company PetroSaudi International, with offices in both London and Geneva. He is also a founder and investor in a series of other companies, including a number of co-investments with Renault F1 team owner Gérard Lopez's Genii Capital organisation.
“I am excited to join such a talented group with grand ideas and projects,” he enthused. “Gérard is recognised as a global financial leader and creative innovator, and I am happy to team up with him. I plan to be associated with the Renault F1 Team for many years to come as we pool our efforts and resources to return this proud symbol of French industry to the forefront of Formula 1.”
Lopez, indeed, has been charged with doing just that following the French manufacturer's bruising 2009 campaign characterised by a distinct lack of on-track results, the desertion of key sponsors and one of the most explosive scandals in sporting history in 'Singapore-gate'. Last December, Genii Capital acquired a majority stake in the embattled Oxfordshire operation – and has since been endeavouring to revitalise the team.
A new management structure, dynamic new driver line-up and targeted technical investment at Enstone have yielded a promising start to the 2010 season that has re-established Renault F1 as a credible force at the highest level, whilst off-track, the squad has attracted new business through the combination of its sporting pedigree and the unique added-value of the Genii Business Exchange.
“It is a true privilege to announce that my long-standing business associate and good friend Tarek Obaid will be joining the Renault F1 Team,” Lopez remarked. “Tarek brings a unique global perspective to our business as we solidify our operating model and begin an ambitious development programme.
“Tarek's vast experience in identifying and executing successful strategic investment opportunities will be crucial as we expand the Renault F1 Team brand name, especially in the Middle East. This tie-up also further strengthens the collaboration between the French and Saudi private sectors.”