RENAULT’S proposed takeover of cash-strapped Lotus moved a step closer yesterday after the French manufacturer signed a letter of intent to buy a controlling stake in the ailing Formula One team ahead of the 2016 season.
Talks between Renault and Genii Capital-owned Lotus have been ongoing for several months, during which time the Oxfordshire-based outfit’s financial position has become increasingly precarious.
The deal is expected to safeguard the future of the beleaguered organisation, who were due in court yesterday over an unpaid tax bill, although their case has been adjourned until 7 December.
“The signature of this Letter of Intent marks Renault’s first step towards the project of a Renault Formula One team from the 2016 racing season, thereby extending 38 years of commitment of the brand to world’s premier motorsport championship series,” read a statement from Renault yesterday.
Renault previously ran their own Formula One team from 1977-85 and 2002-10, winning the drivers’ and constructors’ championships in 2005 and 2006.