Text: Anton Andres / Photos: Lotus F1 | posted December 09, 2015 14:17
Renault now closer to fully acquiring Lotus F1
As previously reported, Renault will be returning to Formula One as a works team in 2016. For it's comeback, Renault made a letter of intent to acquire the Lotus F1 team and are currently finalizing the terms and conditions for the agreement.
Renault aims to complete the takeover by December 16 but before the deal can be done, debts acquired by the Lotus F1 Team must be paid for in full. To speed up the process, Renault will be paying creditors and UK tax authorities. Had Renault not made a letter of intent for Lotus F1 Team's acquisition, the team may be forced to declare bankruptcy.
The Lotus F1 Team went through financial problems last year and reached its boiling point when bailiffs impounded the team’s cars after the Belgian Grand Prix in August. Things went further south when the staff were denied entry to the paddock and hospitality suites in Japan due to unpaid bills. Despite the struggles, Romain Grosjean was able to score a podium finish in Spa. Grosjean leaves the team for the newly formed American Haas outfit.
Lotus F1 CEO Matthew Carter said the remaining matters were merely procedural. “"It's the 16th [December] for the share purchase agreement and they [Renault] are agreeing to pay all the creditors by the 31st. It's been an interesting process all the way through but we are where we are. Everyone's time and effort has been focused on getting this across the line and now I guess we take stock of the situation and decide which way Renault want to jump. We'll see how Renault want to run things and what their plans are," said Carter.