Renault looking to Abu Dhabi for F1 announcement

Renault says it should be ready to confirm its Formula 1 plans, and potential takeover of the Lotus team, around the time of the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Although talks with Lotus have dragged on for months, Renault's F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul thinks the negotiations are now in their final stages, ahead of the last approval from Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn.

"Some announcement may be made in Abu Dhabi or may be made after Abu Dhabi or even before Abu Dhabi," Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.

"Frankly, that is the sort of timing we are talking about. It could be shortly before or slightly after.

"We are mindful of our process, but we need to connect that to the reality of the business.

"But there is absolutely no date agreed for the simple reason that we are not quite sure where the process will take us."

Two paths

Abiteboul explained that although Renault had been working behind the scenes to sort out legal matters with Lotus, there was still a secondary process to go through in terms of getting Ghosn's approval for the revival of a works team.

"The work is continuing in the background," he said. "Lotus is in a complex situation, so there are really two tracks moving in parallel.

"One track is working on the transaction with Lotus, and buying a company that has some legacy – no criticism, but there is some legacy – and it is taking some time.

"We are going through this process with lawyers, with auditors, corporate finance and so on. So this is moving ahead.

"And in parallel, Renault is continuing its assessment of F1 in general. And we expect that at some point the two will have to converge to form a decision, a confirmation and possibly an execution of exchange of documents and an announcement.

"That is the sequence of events, but so far we are on these two tracks in parallel."

Brand issue

Abiteboul said that only when he had prepared all the information about Renault's long-term possibilities in F1 could Ghosn make the final call about what to do.

"You can put a lot of rationale on F1, but you have to think beyond that. It has to be flagged as the value of the [Renault] brand, the strategy of the company, and the intention of the CEO.

"There are some movements in the automotive industry, and there are some movements in the Renault-Nissan alliance.

"I am not saying that this is connected, but at the end of the day he is the one who is capable of having a global assessment of the situation.

"It is how he sees the next 5-10 years as that is what we are talking about with our F1 involvement. Only he is in this position to make a judgement call about when we will be able to provide him with all the information he needs."

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news