Renault is currently finalising arrangements to effectively buy out the Lotus F1 Team, F1i understands after cross-checking several sources in the Spa-Francorchamps paddock.
Enstone co-owner Gérard Lopez and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn have reportedly met this week and an agreement in principle has now been reached. Although Lopez would keep a minor stake in the new structure, the shareholding process would not involve his Genii Capital Partners firm yet.
In order to seal its return as a works outfit, Renault would only be waiting for F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to make it an “historic team”, given the French manufacturer’s record in the sport. Such a move would indeed lead to Renault receiving a bigger slice of F1’s commercial revenues.
It is believed that Lotus F1 Team Ltd currently owes some £18 million (€25 million) to several creditors, suppliers, and contractors, while the debt to Genii Capital needs to be restructured in an effort to ensure a smooth transition.
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