Renault and Lotus are “engaged to be married”, according to the F1 team’s deputy principal Federico Gastaldi.
The French manufacturer confirmed on Monday it had signed a Letter of Intent regarding a “potential acquisition” of Lotus. Yesterday Manor revealed they will use Mercedes engines next season – potentially a further sign Lotus will not use the three-pointed star’s power units in 2016.
“It looks like we’re engaged to be married again, which is interesting as we’ve had a few relationships together before,” said Gastaldi. Renault previously owned the team between 2002 and 2009.
“It’s positive for the sport and it’s positive for Enstone that a company with the history and prestige of Renault is looking to strengthen its role in Formula One,” Gastaldi continued. “It’s true we’ve both experienced a few knocks over the years but we’ve also had some exceptional highs and that makes us all collectively exceptionally motivated to harness our resilience and show everyone what we can do.”
Gastaldi also paid tribute to Romain Grosjean, who will leave the team at the end of the year. “He’s been a real asset to us over the years so we’ll certainly miss him,” he said.
“We know we have Pastor [Maldonado] confirmed for one seat and we know that there are quite a few tasty drivers available out there and we’re doing everything to ensure that we’ve got a desirable race seat, which needs to be filled.”
“What happens next is that there’ll be a number of discussions in a number of places then at some point we’ll have an announcement to make. I can at this stage publicly confirm that it won’t be me driving.”
2015 F1 season
- How a secret Mercedes engine mode helped pressure Vettel into a race-ending puncture
- Over 100 driver penalties issued in record-breaking 2015
- Part-time racer? The facts of Hamilton’s ‘jet-set lifestyle’
- The Complete F1 Fanatic 2015 season review
- Your favourite – and least favourite – F1 races of 2015