Alain Prost says it is disappointing that Renault's departure from F1 has further reduced French involvement in the sport.

Although the company will continue to supply engines, the French marque will no longer have a direct involvement with a team after selling the shares it still held in the Enstone-based team carrying its name to majority shareholder Genii Capital.

With no French GP and no French drivers on the grid, Prost said it was sad for his country to have no involvement in a sport where it appears French companies no longer want to invest.

"We have hit the bottom," he told Auto Hebdo. "You can be optimistic and hope people realise this is not a good thing for a car country like France. So perhaps there will be measures or strategies implemented to return things to normal, maybe even better than in the past.

"But it's extremely difficult right now because our country has become a little auto-phobic. Companies and marques have no desire to invest in Formula One. That there is no French Grand Prix is one thing, but that there are no French drivers racing is a big gap. That is what brings people's interest to the sport."

Admitting that he wasn't surprised by Renault's decision, Prost insisted it wouldn't make it any easier for France to get more involved in the sport without the team on the grid.

"The Renault team was part of history and heritage so when you lose that it's hard to get back," he said. "[However] I understand the need to make savings.

"But it's going to be more even difficult for France and French drivers."



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