Renault F1 team principal, Eric Boullier has revealed that discussions have taken place with Proton, the owner of Group Lotus.
The Lotus naming saga took another twist at the weekend in Brazil, with rumours that Proton is seriously interested in buying into Renault's F1 outfit – and renaming it Lotus-Renault [see separate story click here
Speaking at the weekend, Boullier told Auto Hebdo
that it is a 'possibility': "In F1 there is always lots of rumours and currently there are a lot of distorted rumours. There have been discussions about a possible collaboration. But we also have these with other sponsors and other companies [too]. It is one possibility."
Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of Renault SA and Nissan Motor Company, meanwhile was a bit more guarded, but also didn't rule it out.
"Renault will be associated with this team [next year]," he added in a separate interview with Auto Hebdo
. "There may be financial agreements or marketing agreements to suit our interests. There could be some changes here, but for the moment there is nothing. What I can say though, is that we will become more and more suppliers of technology to a number of teams that are involved in F1 [in the future]."
But could the Renault F1 team name change?
"There are name changes everything. We want to preserve the name of Renault, but within the frame work of the Renault F1 team, yes, there can be other associated names," he continued.
"Although it should be noted within the framework of Red Bull, we now have Red Bull-Renault. You will perhaps see the name of Renault a little more with different teams in the future because we do not want to give the impression we are exclusively with one team. We are keen to develop technology for several teams."
Pressed on if Renault will sell its stake in the Renault F1 team, Ghosn remained tight-lipped: "I am not going to answer directly about discussions which may or may not happen. It all relates to our financial participation and that is tactical. We are not in F1 to have a particular team. We are in F1 to promote the Renault name and the technology of Renault.
"We will do all that is necessary to do that with lower costs and the least investment. We will not put more resources than necessary to achieve that objective.
"What is important to us is expand our role as an engine and supplier of technologies," he reiterated.