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Lotus: Renault signs Letter of Intent

NEWS STORY
28/09/2015

As Lotus heads to the High Court in London, Renault issued a Letter of Intent to take control of Enstone team.

A brief statement issued this morning reads:

Renault Group and Gravity Motorsports S.a.r.l., an affiliate of Genii Capital SA, are pleased to announce the signature of a Letter of Intent regarding the potential acquisition by Renault of a controlling stake in Lotus F1 Team Ltd.

The signature of this Letter of Intent marks Renault's first step towards the project of a Renault Formula 1 team from the 2016 racing season thereby extending 38 years of commitment of the brand to world's premier motorsport championship series.

Renault Group and Gravity will work together in the coming weeks to eventually turn this initial undertaking into a definitive transaction provided all terms and conditions are met between them and other interested parties.

The announcement comes as the Enstone outfit heads to the High Court in London for the deferred the case brought by HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) which is seeking to have it placed in administration for unpaid taxes dating back three months.

The action involving HMRC is one of a number the troubled team is facing as it struggles to survive. At one race Pirelli withheld tyres until it received an outstanding payment, at another the team's equipment was impounded following a lawsuit by a former driver and in Japan the team was forced to rely on food and hospitality from Bernie Ecclestone after being locked out of the circuit's own hospitality unit for not paying its 2014 bill.

The news that Renault takes control for 2016 will probably now allow Mercedes, which currently supplies Lotus, to provide engines for Manor, which only a year ago went into administration before being rescued at the eleventh hour.

The move also ends months of speculation over Renault's future, the French manufacturer uncertain whether to buy Lotus - or another team - or walk away from the sport entirely.

Having faced a barrage of criticism from Red Bull followings its failure to make its engines more competitive, especially as Ferrari made up ground, there were many who feared Renault, which sold the Enstone outfit after withdrawing from the sport in the wake of 'Crashgate', would choose to walk away.

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CER of Renault, has been involved in protracted talks with Bernie Ecclestone, demanding that should the company return to F1 it be granted the same historical status as the likes of Mercedes, such status worth an increased portion of the sport’s revenue.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by scf1fan, 28/09/2015 16:18

"I would hope that, unless there is a Chapman involved somewhere, that they drop the Lotus reference. (Particularly with the JPS paint scheme!) I think the team needs to work under it's own identity, so some version of the yellow and black would be nice."

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2. Posted by nonickname, 28/09/2015 12:32

"Or maybe Prost junior!!"

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3. Posted by Nortim, 28/09/2015 10:12

"Infiniti Lotus Renault - imagine the livery - purple, black and yellow with some touches of red (Total)!?!

To bad Romain is going away, maybe JEV in his place and 2017 no Pastor, but Palmer instead"

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