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Lotus ‘confident’ Renault deal is coming

Lotus is developing its 2016 car with Renault's much discussed purchase in mind, though it is prepared to run Mercedes engines next season if necessary.
Lotus remains confident its much discussed buyout by Renault will go through as planned, even if it does have contingency measures in place to continue with Mercedes power should it not proceed.

Following a breakdown in relations with Red Bull Racing, Renault initiated talks to take over Lotus back in May, but negotiations have now dragged on for several months as the French manufacturer deliberates over whether to indeed return to F1 as a fully-fledged manufacturer.

As it stands, Renault has signed a 'letter of intent' to purchase Lotus, but – with just two rounds of the 2015 season remaining - there has been little indication that it will indeed follow through on the purchase.

Nonetheless, Lotus CEO Matthew Carter remains optimistic that his team – which has already signed Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer as its drivers - is destined for a bright future under Renault ownership.

“Renault issued a letter of intent, so behind the scenes the Renault and Lotus senior management are working flat out to make sure that we get the deal done,” he told the official F1 website. “Things are progressing, but these things take time. I am confident that the deal is going to happen, but as I said, it needs time to get it across.

“We know that in business anything can happen and as long as there are no signatures on the documents the deal is not concluded, but confidence is very high!”

Though Lotus has been developing its 2016 car with the Renault deal in mind, Carter says it is also keeping its options open should it be forced to stick with Mercedes power for next year.

“We have two options for an engine next year: either we go with Mercedes or Renault,” he continued. “We are progressing along that route. We've got two designs for next year's car and we are pushing forward with both options.

“It is a rather unlikely option that we will go into the 2016 season with a Mercedes engine. And if we were to, yes, that would mean that the Renault deal fell flat. But my strong guess is that it will be a Renault engine next year.”



Tagged as: Mercedes , Renault , Lotus

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mrfill

November 10, 2015 6:06 PM

Renault have a contract still in place to supply RBR for 2016. If they buy Lotus and want a works level engine, they have to rid themselves of RBR to acquire #1 status or they can be sued. If they allow RBR to have a unit and let them call it anything but Renault, and allow them to develop separately, they can escape. However, RBR get a big lump of money from Infiniti and Total - said to be worth more than double the amount that Red Bull pays Renault for its power unit and Renault need the funds for their own purposes. The sponsorship deals run out next year, leaving RBR with much money to find from 2017, added to which the cost of the anonymous units would be greatly enhanced. In brief, it will cost RBR a very big wedge of cash, but that's the price... Take it or leave it Dietrich....

mrfill

November 10, 2015 7:56 PM

I think what may have happened is that RBR intended to create their own PU with VW ready for the 2018 season and needed a stop-gap for 2 years. VW then hit trouble and the plan fell apart. Doing a deal with Renault was the only way ahead as no-one else would play. Renault get rid of RBR but avoid penalty. RBR get a PU they can play with and avoid a penalty and get to use the facilities that have been built at MK, although rather sooner than they wanted. The price will be high though. Very high.... Whether RBR could sell on the units may depend upon whether Renault allow them to pass on the jointly developed block. If Regie says non, RBR won't even be allowed to supply STR and they will have to foot the whole of the development bill. Et voila!



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