According to owner and team principal of Lotus F1 team (Gerard Lopez), discussions for Renault to take over Lotus are almost done.
He said: “I understand that Renault still have some things which they need to clear with Formula One and FOM (Formula One Management), but as far as we are concerned we are pretty much at a deal now.”
Renault signed a letter of intent to take a controlling stake in Lotus in September, just before The High Court in London gave them till December 7 to finalize the deal and pay off the amounts owed to Britain’s tax authority.
Reuters reports that negotiations hinge on FOM’s ‘heritage payments’ that the French manufacturer, currently only an engine supplier, would want agreed before confirming its return as a works team. It is expected that the team will renamed once the takeover is complete.
As outlined by Autosport in 2010, a team-name change would require the support of rival teams, and that of the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone. The F1 Commission agreed that the Brawn team would be allowed to change its chassis name from Brawn to Mercedes and that the team be allowed to continue to receive payments based on its historical performance. The F1 Commission statement said: “This has been granted on a one-off exceptional basis due to Mercedes-Benz’s long-term involvement and commitment to Formula 1.”