The long wait for clarity over the future of Renault and Lotus in F1 appears to be almost over.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who is not in Japan, told the Reuters news agency from London on Friday that Renault is “apparently” going to buy the embattled Lotus team.
But he also admitted: “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.”
D-Day, however, is now fast approaching. On Monday, cash-dry Lotus will face a London judge who has warned that he will no longer adjourn the matter of placing the Enstone team into administration.
But rumours at Suzuka on Saturday suggested that Renault is finally going to end that uncertainty.
And Lotus CEO Matthew Carter told the BBC in Japan: “Things are looking very positive. There is going to be a press release from Renault next week.
“We are confident Monday will go in our favour and things are looking very positive going forward, much more than in the last few weeks,” he added.
The positive news is timely, given Lotus’ embarrassing display for the pinnacle of motor sport this weekend at Suzuka, where the team has been locked out of its hospitality unit.
Carter explained: “There was an interest shown in the team by Renault and as that decision got closer, we had to make financial decisions and Renault asked us not to sign contracts.
“That was back in May, June and it has dragged on.” (GMM)