user icon

Renault poised to sign option to buy Lotus F1 Team

  • Published on 03 Sep 2015 15:20
  • comments 1
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Renault is now poised to sign an option to buy a majority stake of the ailing F1 team Lotus, the German publication Auto Motor und Sport reports. The fate of the beleaguered Enstone team, and Renault and partner Red Bull's next steps in F1, are the subject of intense speculation in the Monza paddock.

News of the apparently imminent signing of an 'option' is therefore significant, but correspondent Michael Schmidt said the entire story and all of its ramifications will probably not be clear until the end of September. "The situation is extremely complex with many decisions that must be taken," said Toto Wolff, referring to the fact that Mercedes is waiting for clarity before entering talks to become Red Bull's next engine supplier.

Indeed, so complex is the situation that Renault - although the likely new team owner - may leave the Lotus team name and identity in place for 2016, including the existing Mercedes engine deal. Romain Grosjean and the PDVSA-backed Pastor Maldonado would also stay, with Renault planning for 2017 behind the scenes, and insisting that Red Bull and Toro Rosso honour their contracts next year.

But another possibility is that Lotus will become the full 'Renault' works team already next year, with the Red Bull deals duly terminated. That, however, maybe be complicated, as the current Red Bull engine deal is tied up with lucrative sponsorship contracts - reportedly tipping the scales at almost $90 million - with Total and Infiniti, which also would need to be scrapped.

Auto Motor und Sport also reports that Renault is ultimately targeting an annual budget for its works team in the order of $300 million, which is along the lines of what Mercedes spends. That big budget will be put together by Renault scrapping its support of the Formula Renault 3.5 'World Series', the combined sponsorship by Total and Infiniti, and reportedly a bonus payment made by Bernie Ecclestone.

It is also said that the new silent partner Gerard Lopez could provide existing or new sponsorships for the team that he will continue to part-own. (GMM)

Replies (1)

Login to reply
  • I understand that they will keep the Lotus name, they have to if they want to keep the prize money Lotus will earn this year, but why keeping the Merc' engine deal? Is it so they wont have to buy out that contract aswell? Does Merc really want to supply their engines to another supplier who potentially could find out invaluable data from it?
    And people say this sport is boring! If this isn't interesting, I dont know what is!

    • + 0
    • Sep 3 2015 - 15:48

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2022

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Driver profile

  • Team -
  • Points -
  • Podiums -
  • Grand Prix -
  • Country FR
  • Date of b. Apr 17 1986 (36)
  • Place of b. Geneve, FR
  • Weight 71 kg
  • Length 1.8 m
Show full profile

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2022

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Spain
-
Bahrain
18 - Mar 20
Bahrain
25 - Mar 27
Saudi Arabia
8 - Apr 10
Australia
22 - Apr 24
Italy
6 - May 8
United States of America
20 - May 22
Spain
27 - May 29
Monaco
10 - Jun 12
Azerbaijan
17 - Jun 19
Canada
1 - Jul 3
United Kingdom
8 - Jul 10
Austria
22 - Jul 24
France
29 - Jul 31
Hungary
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2022

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
18 - Mar 20
25 - Mar 27
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
8 - Apr 10
Australia Albert Park
22 - Apr 24
6 - May 8
United States of America Miami International Autodrome
20 - May 22
27 - May 29
Monaco Monte Carlo
10 - Jun 12
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
17 - Jun 19
1 - Jul 3
United Kingdom Silverstone
8 - Jul 10
Austria Red Bull Ring
22 - Jul 24
France Paul Ricard
29 - Jul 31
Hungary Hungaroring
See full schedule
show sidebar