Gerard Lopez says the protracted sale of Lotus to Renault is 'pretty much there', adding that he will have a role in the newly rebranded team when it is confirmed.
Though talks between the two parties has now dragged on for several months, with little progress being made public since Renault signed a 'letter of intent' to purchase the team in September, it is expected a deal will be confirmed in Abu Dhabi.
Indeed, while Renault has remained relatively tight-lipped on the deal, Lotus' chief executive Matthew Carter and chairman Lopez – whose Genii Capital group has a controlling stake in the team – have expressed their confidence in recent weeks that a contract is now in place.
"I think we are pretty much there with Renault,” he told Sky Sports F1
. “I understand that Renault still have some things they need to clear with Formula 1 and FOM, but as far as we are concerned we are pretty much at a deal now."
Despite the buy-out, which will see Renault return to F1 as a fully-fledged manufacturer team for the first time since 2009, the Luxembourgish businessman says he will still remain involved in the team.
“It won't be me finished because they have asked me to stay on, so when the deal happens, I will stay on.”
The deal will see Renault come full circle with the Enstone-based outfit, having sold a majority stake in the team to Lopez and Genii Capital in 2010 in order to focus on being an engine supplier, an endeavour that yielded four consecutive world titles with the Red Bull Racing team.
Though a break down in relations with Red Bull in 2015 has preluded Renault's decision to go it alone again as a manufacturer entry, the two parties are understood to be discussing a reconciliation that could see Red Bull use unbranded or rebranded Renault engines next season as well.
Regardless of the sale, Lotus has already confirmed its drivers for 2016 will be Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer.