Renault says that a decision about its future in Formula 1 is yet to be taken.
Although there have been suggestions that the French car manufacturer is on the verge of imminently announcing a takeover of Lotus to bring back a works team, its F1 boss has said that things are more complex.
Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul said that certain conditions that Renault needs to green-light its project have not yet been met, which is why he is not yet sure how the situation is going to pan out.
"Unfortunately I have to say what is out there is much more advanced than the reality," Abiteboul told Motorsport.com. "I am constantly playing catch-up with the news. The reality is much more complex.
"We said that we were looking at alternatives, that is correct. We said that we were looking at possibly committing long term to F1. That is correct. We think we are really at the end of the road for the role of just being an engine supplier. That is correct.
"The rest frankly at this point of time, as we are talking today, is speculative."
Abiteboul confirmed that Renault had been through an evaluation process with different teams and that Lotus had emerged as the best candidate to do a deal with. However, it is not its only option.
He said without Renault having the right financial platform in place through sponsorship, F1 commercial rights income and investors, it would not push on with completing the deal.
"There are discussions, there are exploratory talks and there are a number of factors that are going in the right direction. But clearly given the size of the commitment for Renault, we are talking about a potential long-term commitment, we want to be sure to make the right decision.
"This decision will be made on a number of conditions, so we are going through those conditions one by one, keeping our head down.
"I am reasonably confident that we are heading in the right direction but unfortunately there are still a number of conditions that are not met."
F1 must believe in Renault
Abiteboul would not elaborate on what elements were missing from the project, and whether it was related to Lotus, third-party finance, or commercial rights income.
However, he made it clear that unless others showed commitment to Renault's plans then it was unlikely to move forwards.
"From a governance perspective we have what it takes to take a very quick decision, assuming we have those conditions met.
"But this opportunity means we cannot bury our head or lose our temper on what looks like a good opportunity. It has to be much more than that. It has to be rock solid because we see if you do not have a proper plan in F1 you get completely crushed.
"If you look basically how money has been centralised; if we do not do the necessary today to be sure that we are within the right part of the grid, we know we have absolutely no chance to deliver what we want to deliver - which is being a top team contender. We have no interest to just participate.
"We know we can do that. But what we want is the ingredients of success and the capacity to win in a reasonably quick time."
He added: "I think it is fair to say that we have done all we need to do to advance on our side; so it is up to a certain number of parties to help if they believe in the project, just like Renault believes in the project.
"We believe in the value of F1; but F1 has to believe in Renault."