Ecclestone urges Renault to come to the party


Aside from the little matter of the Japanese Grand Prix, which is providing more than enough problems on and off track, Lotus has the added worry of Monday's hearing in the High Court in London.

For at that time the Enstone outfit's lawyers will attempt to fend off HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) which is seeking to have the team placed in administration for unpaid taxes dating back three months.

For some time it has been suggested that Renault would at least buy into the troubled team, but amidst a row with Ecclestone over historic payments, and the fact that the French manufacturer remains unclear as to whether it even wants to be in F1 any longer, there is concern Lotus' days are numbered.

"Apparently Renault are going to take over Lotus. Apparently. This is what has been foreseen," Ecclestone told {i]Reuters. "Whether it will be completed, I don't know. If they don't complete it by Monday or put some money in soon, unless Renault come to the party, it won't happen.

"It's strange that a company as large as Renault are taking such a long time to make a decision, to be honest with you," he continued. "They've been waiting for us to make a contribution to give them a reason to do something, which we've done two weeks ago. So I don't know.

"They wanted the same sort of deal as Mercedes and some money. So we tried to work it out. We got a calculator and worked out what nine years would be. What we've done for them is not anything that we need to do, or had to, but we've done it to try and be helpful and keep Renault in Formula One.

"Our agreement is with Renault and not with Lotus," he added.

As if proof of the Enstone outfit's plight were needed, Ecclestone had to step in when the team found itself without hospitality after failing to pay its 2014 bill. The unit the team would have occupied this weekend tantalisingly in position… and locked.

As a result, Ecclestone has agreed to have the Lotus crew fed by the Paddock Club.

They don't have to beg any more because we've looked after them," he said. "It's not nice for the team. We've done all we can do… plus.

"Let's hope now that somebody else does something."

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Published: 25/09/2015
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