French power-unit manufacturer Renault set to return to F1 as a factory team in 2016 F1. Lotus F1 Team chairman and principal Gerard Lopez has stated that the takeover of the team by Renault is now a “done deal” leading to rumour that it will be officially announced as soon as next weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“I think we’re pretty much there with Renault,” Lopez told Sky Sports F1 on Saturday while attending the RoC at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
“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.”
Renault-Lotus grouping will not end for Lopez in the F1 paddock.
“I will still be a co-owner, but not to the same extent that I am now,” Lopez told reporters. “I won’t be saying goodbye, because I was asked to stay. Should a deal come about, then I will continue to be there.”
When the source asked how he would reflect on his time in charge of Lotus, the Luxembourgish entrepreneur had fond memories.
“I’ll look back on it as an amazing adventure,” he beamed. “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. So I am quite proud of what the team has achieved.”