Ho-Pin Tung hoping Lopez buys Renault

(GMM) Ho-Pin Tung's manager has confirmed that the Chinese driver's involvement with a potential team buyer was the reason for his test at the wheel of a Renault this week.

Although it was previously believed the parties were cooperating to buy the French carmaker's F1 single seater factory at Enstone, it now emerges that David Richards/Prodrive and the Mangrove group are in fact competing for the takeover.

Overseeing Mangrove is a Luxembourg-based capital group called Genii, run by Gerard Lopez, reports on Friday said.

Lopez is also involved with the Gravity driver management company, which handles nine hopefuls including the Dutch-born Chinese Tung, who turned 27 on Friday.

Confirming Lopez's interest in buying the Renault team, Tung's manager Bert Winkler told formule1.nl: "That is the reason Ho-Pin was allowed to test (at Jerez).

"This is an exciting time for us. Should they (Genii/Lopez) really support the team, a future for Ho-Pin in formula one would be possible," he added.

"A lot of things now have to fall into place. It's time now to cross the fingers and hope the coin lands on the right side," said Winkler.

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