Renault announcement next week but…


Renault will make an announcement on their takeover of Lotus next week, but reports suggest the deal is being held up due to a dispute over prize money with Bernie Ecclestone.

The French manufacturer confirmed in September that it had signed a Letter Of Intent to buy the financially troubled Lotus outfit, but two months later and they are yet to make things official.

However, Renault F1's managing director Cyril Abiteboul revealed in Abu Dhabi on Friday that they will make an announcement once the season has come to a conclusion.

"There will be no announcement regarding Renault's future, short or middle term, over the weekend," he said. "But there will be an announcement, very likely in the course of the next week.

"We have always said we'd like to do that after the season – the season ends on Sunday."

He added: "It's been a proper roller coaster for us – there has been a lot of work done between Lotus and Renault. There has been a process going on since the signing of the letter of intent [in September].

"Fifty people have been working night and day on the realising of a majority stake in Lotus."

Meanwhile, BBC Sport reports that things are not as straightforward as they seem as both parties are still in negotiations with F1 commercial rights holder Ecclestone over historic payments while the Red Bull engine deal has also made things messy.

Red Bull initially dropped Renault as an engine supplier, but they have no kissed and made up.

"Insiders say Ecclestone agreed a deal for prize money, which then collapsed, and now Renault is now threatening to pull out," the report said.

"The exact details of the disagreement between Ecclestone and Renault are unclear, but it is said by sources to revolve around confusion surrounding Renault's deal to supply Red Bull, which has been developing in parallel with the situation at Lotus, a team facing the threat of administration."