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Lotus not expecting Renault to change 2016 drivers

Nick Chester is confident Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer will continue to form Renault's driver line-up when it completes its Lotus takeover
Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester says the imminent takeover from Renault is unlikely to affect the driver line-up for the 2016 Formula 1 Season.

Following months of negotiation, Renault will return to the sport as a constructor for the first time through its purchase of Lotus, with the deal expected to be complete before the end of the month.

Speaking to Reuters, Chester clarified that Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer, who will replace Haas-bound Romain Grosjean in 2016, are likely to be at the team at the start of next season despite the takeover.

“As we all know, contracts can be broken if both parties particularly want to” Chester said, “but they have both got contracts and therefore I think in January it's just going to be an announcement of everything.

“The contracts have been agreed with Renault. No decision has been made on a third driver, so whether or not they have someone French maybe lined up for that role I don't know.”

Doubt had been cast on the driver line-up when Renault's chief executive Carlos Ghosn told France's Le Figaro newspaper that “In January, we will explain the organisation, goals, strategy and we will also talk about drivers and partners.”

However, Maldonado's future in particular is likely to have been assured by the substantial backing he provides from Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA, which are considered pivotal to the takeover.

“Pastor and his funds are part and parcel of Renault's plans certainly for the next 12 months,” Chester continued. “I think the two drivers will be as we think.”

The administration case against Lotus has been adjourned for the third time until the 28th December, giving Renault time to pay off the debts after they complete the takeover.

Lotus F1 had been under extreme pressure from British tax authorities, with the Enstone-based team thought to owe £2.7million in unpaid income tax debts to the HMRC, before Renault stepped in with a 'letter of intent' to buy the team at the eleventh hour.

by Jack Healy


Tagged as: Renault , Lotus

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
13.11.2015 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Test Driver, Lotus F1 Team and Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E23
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jerome Stoll (FRA) Renault Sport F1 President
27.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Renault Sport F1 Team group photo, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
26.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
26.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
26.11.2016 - Alain Prost (FRA) and Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Managing Director

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ZEDX

December 09, 2015 3:43 PM

Palmer's position seems to be the less firm of the two. I would like to see what he can do in 2016 so I hope he gets the chance. It may be that the latest "hints" (mentioned above) do indeed include a Frenchman albeit as reserve driver thus satisfying certain parties and avoiding any legal hassles (do they need any more?) over JP's contract. If said reserve is any good, he will then be in prime position to replace Crashtor.

richard

December 10, 2015 7:25 PM

goldenoldie With reduction on crude oil production, prices of oil will soar very soon! So difficult to foresee the effect on a long term basis. In any case to invest in oil companies for the upcoming 3 months, is not a bad idea! (I already bought a heap of put options!)
GO. your options will not be worth much! there is a glut of oil on the market and this will stay until the frackers in the states find it uneconomical to continue. once they pull out, oil prices may rise, but for the immediate future, there is little chance of a rise



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