Renault return to racetrack following takeover at Lotus

Jolyon Palmer outside the Lotus F1 headquarters near Entone
Jolyon Palmer outside the Lotus F1 headquarters near Entone

The future of the Lotus F1 team has been secured following Renault’s takeover of the Enstone outfit.

Renault has completed its takeover of Lotus and will return to Formula 1 as a constructor in 2016, ten years since sealing the F1 World Championship with Fernando Alonso.

The French car manufacturer finalised the deal on Friday and the move ends months of speculation surrounding the future of the team.

On Friday, Groupe Renault and Gravity Motorsport S.a.rl, an affiliate of Genii Capital SA, formally and successfully completed the acquisition by Groupe Renault of a controlling shareholding of Lotus F1 Team Limited.

The new team name, full management structure, team partners and other details will be announced during an event to be held in Paris in February.

In the interim, a new board of directors has been appointed, with Jérôme Stoll as chairman and Cyril Abiteboul as managing director.

Following the signing of a letter of intent by Groupe Renault and Gravity Motorsport S.a.rl in September, the parties entered into the various agreements earlier this month.

Since then, all parties involved have been working relentlessly to comply with all of the contractual and legal obligations under the agreements to enable the transaction to successfully complete.

The technical teams are making good progress to have the 2016 car ready for testing in Barcelona at the end of February.

The Renault drivers for next season will be Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado and British rookie Jolyon Palmer, who was the Lotus reserve driver this season.

Both drivers were signed by Lotus while the Renault takeover was still in doubt.