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Lopez: Renault deal "pretty much done"

NEWS STORY
23/11/2015

Lotus chairman and team principal Gerard Lopez says deal with Renault is "pretty much done"

As sagas go it's not the longest, then again, as far as Lotus is concerned, nor is it the first.

Whilst two months have passed since Renault announced that a "letter of intent regarding the potential acquisition of a controlling stake in Lotus F1 Team Ltd" had been signed, there has been precious little else.

Despite the continued assurances from Enstone, the fact is that Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn has yet to rubber stamp the deal, and, contrary to the adage, 'no news is no news'.

However, with just one race remaining, before the sport slips quietly off the back pages and into the shadows again, Lopez insists that everything is on course.

"I think we are pretty much there with Renault," he told Sky Sports. "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."

Interestingly, Lopez reveals that Renault has asked him to stay on, a move which suggests the French manufacturer's investment might not be as significant as some are claiming.

"It won't be me finished because they have asked me to stay on, so when the deal happens, I will stay on," he said.

Of his time at the helm of the Enstone outfit, he said: "I'll look back on it as an amazing adventure," he said. "You take over a team, they are eighth in the championship, you end up winning races, we had 23 podiums, so a very exciting time for a private team. I am quite proud of what the team has achieved."

Worryingly, the deal has a 7 December deadline, for that was the date set by Judge Birss in the High Court in London in September when he adjourned the case in which Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is seeking unpaid taxes from Lotus.

Birss had previously warned that the adjournment would be the last, leaving the Enstone outfit facing administration. Indeed, the letter of intent was issued just hours before the case was due to be heard.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by ape, 23/11/2015 13:32

"These wins with Kimi were indeed great and good to see a small team beating the super rich teams.
Pity with the new engine rules it was impossible to do the same"

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2. Posted by Mugmug, 23/11/2015 11:53

"A real shame as I thought the sale of the team would mean the end of this "wall streeter" in Formula 1."

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