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Renault to return to F1 as factory team, £65m deal with Lotus

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Renault to return to F1 as factory team, £65m deal with Lotus

Renault to return to F1 as factory team, £65m deal with Lotus

According to Autosport, the French car manufacturer Renault will acquire a controlling stake in the Lotus F1 Team for £65 million – the contract would see Renault land a 65% stake in the team while the remaining is split between Gerard Lopez via Genii (25%) and Alain Prost (10%).

Gerard Lopez, currently Lotus F1 team co-owner via his Genii organisation, looks set to remain as a shareholder with a potential stake of around 25 per cent, with four-time champion and Renault ambassador Alain Prost acquiring the remaining 10 per cent.

At Lotus’ Enstone base, fingers are crossed that a deal can be signed quickly.

“We would welcome them (Renault) with open arms,” the Austrian news agency APA quotes Lotus engineer Alan Permane as saying.

“We have a great relationship with Mercedes, but to again be a factory team would be fantastic.”

This contract alone will change the situation for current drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.

Renault might not retain both drivers. Grosjean, should stay on, especially following finishing on the podium at the last race in Belgian GP.

But the formless Venezuelan, is a strange story. For Maldonado, this deal comes from an oil gain in his country, PDVSA, and it could be critical for him to retain one more season.

Also Renault had reportedly been talking to Force India, but went with Lotus because the Enstone factory used to be theirs and it has facilities like a scale wind tunnel that make it rather desirable.

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