Lotus is not in line to be taken over, according to its CEO Matthew Carter, despite persistent rumours that it could be targeted by Renault.

The current iteration of the Enstone-based outfit, which was borne out of the Renault's former factory F1 effort, has suffered with financial woes in recent years, though the team insists it is in considerably better shape than of late.

It is an impression replicated by its on-track performance, with Lotus current sixth in the constructors' standings after seven races, thanks in part to its decision to drop its Renault association in favour of Mercedes engine deal over the winter.

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Indeed, though Carter suggests Lotus does 'have its price', it is its 'long-term' deal with Mercedes that Carter suggests will rule it out of any potential takeover from a rival firm.

"I continue to say the same thing. The shareholders have told me that the company isn't for sale. I think I've said in the press before that everything is sale for a certain price. That's as much as I can say.

"I continue to reiterate that we signed a long-term contract with Mercedes Benz and as far as we're concerned we just continue down that route.

"That last information I heard was that we were going to be sold by the end of May but we're still here and we're still the same team."

After Renault sold its final stake in the former full manufacturer team in 2011, Lotus has operated under that guise ever since, retaining an engine supply from the French firm until 2015 when it switched to Mercedes power.