Lotus CEO Matthew Carter has played down reports that it is on the cusp of being sold back to Renault, and insists that the Enstone outfit is not for sale
Reports suggest current team owner Gerard Lopez will meet with Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn in Hungary next weekend to hammer out a deal.
Given that, just half a decade ago, the transaction was in reverse, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner observed wryly that the story contains a “certain irony”.
He told F1’s official website that, notwithstanding any Lotus-Renault talks, Red Bull is contractually guaranteed top billing with Renault power next year.
As for 2017, “That could be a completely different ball game,” Horner admitted.
Carter – who Lopez has left in charge of the Enstone team for now – insists the reports of an imminent buyout are not right.
“As CEO of this company I know nothing of any such offer,” he is quoted by Speed Week. “I know that Renault is currently looking carefully at its involvement in formula one. We know that when it comes to returning to a factory team.”
“The usual candidates would be on the list and we would possibly be the best choice. But there is no offer,” Carter insisted. “The shareholders have told me repeatedly that the Lotus team is not for sale.”
Undoubtedly, however, selling Enstone back to Renault would be a timely solution for troubled Lotus.
Highlighting F1’s income and governance issues, European parliamentarian Anneliese Dodds pointed out the “urgency of the situation … with Lotus facing a winding-up petition in the High Court” due to a disgruntled supplier.