Nov.28 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Renault will probably make an announcement about its future in formula one next week.
In recent days, weeks and months, the French carmaker has been closing in on a deal to buy out the Lotus team and return to full works status in 2016.
A letter of intent has been signed, numerous Renault personnel are already working at Enstone, and yet Lotus has continued to show up late for grand prix weekends, leaving Bernie Ecclestone to pick up unpaid bills to circuits.
“Fortunately between Renault and the shareholders and Mr Ecclestone we kept going,” deputy Lotus boss Federico Gastaldi said in Abu Dhabi.
On Friday, it emerged that the signature on the Lotus buyout is being held up by a dispute between the F1 supremo and Carlos Ghosn, with the Renault president demanding that Ecclestone approve Ferrari and Mercedes-like bonus payments.
In the meantime, Red Bull and Toro Rosso – Renault’s current customer teams – are having to wait on the decision as well.
When asked for clarity on Friday, Renault F1 chief Cyril Abiteboul said: “I’m afraid I can’t answer that question today.
“What I can say is that there will be no announcement regarding Renault’s future – short-term or middle-term – over the weekend, but there will be an announcement, very likely, in the course of next week,” he added.
That will be cutting it fine, as Lotus is set to return to the London courts early the following week where a case over unpaid tax could see it placed into administration.
Abiteboul insisted: “We have always said that we would like to do that (announcement) after the season. The season is ending on Sunday, around the start of December and we will stick to that plan.”