Reports say Renault will buy Lotus F1 in coming weeks.
Renault’s buy-out of the Lotus F1 team is only a matter of weeks away, according to reports emanating from the UK.
Long rumoured, the French car maker has been looking to step up its involvement in the sport as a way of gaining greater recognition for its brand.
As an engine supplier to Red Bull, Renault engines won four consecutive world championships from 2010 to 2013.
However it has come under fire under revised engine regulations introduced at the start of 2014, with Red Bull publicly blaming it for the team’s downturn in performance.
Lotus meanwhile has struggled financially throughout the 2015 season, finding itself in court more than once as it battled to stave off administrators closing the team down.
Despite its woes, Renault has been linked with Lotus for some time, and went into a due diligence process in May as it evaluated the team and signed a letter of intent to buy back in September.
It’s understood the formal purchase of the team will take place over the next few weeks, with Renault staff having already begun moving into the squad’s Enstone headquarters.
Ironically, Renault previously owned the team before selling to Genii Capital, the team’s current owners, at the end of 2009.
The team ran for another season under the Renault name before appropriating the Lotus moniker for 2011, though beyond that has no connection to the car company or F1 team founded by Colin Chapman.
Indeed the team started life as Toleman in the early 1980s, giving Ayrton Senna his Formula 1 break.
It then changed its name to Benetton and won two world championships with Michael Schumacher in the mid-1990s before being purchased by Renault.
Formula 1 content courtesy of Velocity Magazine, Australia’s leading motorsport monthly – vmag.com.au