Renault, Valencia, 2009

Renault completes Lotus takeover

2016 F1 season

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Renault has confirmed it has formally completed its takeover of the Lotus Formula One team.

The French manufacturer will announce the title of its team in February next year, when it also intends to run its new car for the first time.

“On Friday 18 December 2015, Groupe Renault and Gravity Motorsport S.a.rl, an affiliate of Genii Capital SA, formally and successfully completed the acquisition by Groupe Renault of a controlling shareholding of Lotus F1 Team Limited,” said Renault in a statement.

“The new team name, full management structure, team partners and other details will be announced during an event to be held in Paris in February.”

“In the interim, a new board of directors has been appointed, with Jerome Stoll as Chairman and Cyril Abiteboul as Managing Director.”

“Following the signing of a letter of intent by Groupe Renault and Gravity Motorsport S.a.rl on 28 September 2015, the parties entered into the various agreements on 3 December 2015. Since then, all parties involved have been working relentlessly to comply with all of the contractual and legal obligations under the agreements to enable the transaction to successfully complete.

The technical teams are making good progress to have the 2016 car ready for testing in Barcelona at the end of February.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 26 comments on “Renault completes Lotus takeover”

    1. Interested in the name detail, will they have a fully fledged title sponsor or are they planning on keeping the Lotus there somewhere?

      Also hope they choose new colours, a nice bold sponsor and new livery would be great, maybe the Microsoft sponsor can become a green xbox car?

      1. maybe the Microsoft sponsor can become a green xbox car?

        @sam3110 – I seriously hope not. However, I’d like to see them going back to their beautiful black and yellow livery of 2010.

        1. A yellow car in the field never goes amiss.

      2. They have already confirmed that the Lotus name will not be on the car/team anymore @sam3110

        1. Don’t they have to give notice of a name change or lose the FOM prize money? I’m thinking about BMW/Sauber.

      3. What’s happened to poor old Matthew Carter?!

    2. Am I wrong or the Barcelona test is in the end of January, beginning of February?

      1. I am wrong. Need to update the calendar

    3. I won’t miss the black and gold livery, I very much welcome a nice and clean yellow livery or even yellow-blue.

      Also I very much hope they find a way out of their contract with Maldonado, and can replace him with a better driver before the start of the season. Yes it would be pretty harsh on Pastor, but Renault really needs a driver they can depend on finishing.

      Even more important: Who will be named team-principle? There aren’t a lot of candidates suitable for the job.

      1. Frederic Vasseur, I think. Was head guy at ART in GP2 last year.

        1. @neilosjames He said awhile ago that he wasn’t interested in the position.

          1. Didn’t see him say that… was it ‘PR denial’ or did it sound like he really didn’t want it? He’s still being mentioned as the ‘expected’ new boss by at least one normally reliable source (BBC).

      2. @me4me, I think you’re being a bit harsh on Maldonado – the vast majority of his retirements in 2015 were either due to mechanical failures (such as the rear brake failure in Monaco) or due to other drivers colliding with him (such as Ricciardo spinning Grosjean into Maldonado at Silverstone).

        1. Maldonado was still leading the penalty points table, and although some of his DNFs were unlucky, a majority were still brain fade moments or him just being in a position where things can go wrong. Either ways, he was absolutely outclassed by Grosjean in quali and races despite having more FP1 time. He was voted the poorest driver on the grid and hence the argument that he should be replaced asap.

          1. @todfod, if we consider Maldonado’s retirements this season, I would disagree with your assertion that the majority were due to “brain fade moments”.

            The list of retirements for Maldonado are listed as follows:
            Australia: Collision
            Malaysia: Brake failure
            China: Brake failure
            Spain: Withdrew (wing damage)
            Monaco: Brake failure
            Britain: Collision
            Belgium: Electronics
            Monza: Broken floor
            Abu Dhabi: Collision

            Now, we saw how many here felt that Ericsson was the driver at fault in Monza for causing a pile up that caused multiple collisions at the first chicane – Maldonado was the last of multiple drivers to be affected (Ericsson struck Grosjean, pushing him into Hulkenberg who, in turn, then struck Maldonado’s rear wheel).
            In the British GP, meanwhile, Ricciardo was held at fault for running into both Grosjean and Alonso at the start, with the former being spun into Maldonado as a result. As for Abu Dhabi, Alonso was considered universally at fault for that collision, with nobody criticising Maldonado for how he placed his car there.

            All in all, even if there is some debate over his retirement in Belgium, Australia and Spain, nevertheless I would still argue that the majority of his retirements were either due to mechanical failures or due to other drivers crashing into Maldonado. I know it is extremely fashionable to criticise Maldonado, but I do find the amount of blame that is apportioned onto him to be somewhat excessive.

      3. @me4me I will miss the black and gold. Most beautiful livery on the grid IMO. And I really hope they go back to the equally beautiful sky blue and yellow of 2005, and not to the hideous type of yellow from 2010

    4. Glad to hear team Enstone will not disappear into the ether. We may yet get back up to 22 cars (sad that we even have to “grow” up to that number).

      1. Feeling there is mutual.

    5. It’s unfortunate that they missed out on signing Grosjean, and that they might have the poorest driver line up on the grid next year. I think they need a top drawer driver to get them to a challenging position within the next 2 to 3 years.

      With the cash, they should look at signing a Hulk, Jenson or maybe even a Bottas

      1. they might have the poorest driver line up on the grid next year

        Yep @todfod that’s all too true. Maldonado isn’t even looking quick now and he will never stop being over-aggressive, crowding, leaving no space, sticking his nose in and generally being there to have an incident. Palmer seems a lovely guy but not really quick.

        Compared with Hulk/Perez or Max/Sainz they’re giving away a lot of performance, though I suppose Manor and Sauber aren’t hugely better.

        I suppose it depends if they’re just ‘rebuilding’ in 2016, though even then they’ll want both cars to finish. I reckon Jolyon will be consistent, at least.

      2. I still think Manor will probably beat them on having the least impressive line-up next year. Between Stevens mentioning being 100% sure, Haryanto trying to get 16 million together, Petrov’s old manager claiming a Russian (maybe Sirotkin) is close to a deal and Mercedes saying how it is up to Manor and they understand how the team needs money (which it seems Mercedes is not too keen to give much of), there is not too much room for any talents to boost the line up.

        And who knows, maybe we get the Pastor of early 2012. And Palmer could show he really deserved to win GP2 after 4 years of learning the craft.

      3. @todfod Why would Bottas change Williams for Renault, considering this will be a new team? Please, explain, because I see no point on this argument.

        1. @fernanzazpi

          Because you do not stand a chance of winning a championship as a customer team. Bottas would want to drive a championship winning car someday, and let’s face it, the Enstone squad has won world titles more recently than Williams has. It’s kind of like Hamilton’s move from Mclaren ato Mercedes. A punt, but a logical one

          1. I am sorry but still don´t conviced. The Williams package is the third in the standings, right now, and in 2016, I am afraid it will be another Mercedes year.For 2017, Williams could deliver another good chassis, let´s see the engine.

            When Renault won twice in 2005 and 2006, Williams was struggling, yeah, but was a contender from 2001 to 2004 for sure. I would not state that a as a key difference. Nevertheless, those years had a very different rulebook than today´s

            But then again. 2016, Renault as a newcomer, do you think is a wise move to change seats? Really? Your only reason is that, in the past, Renault won… All right, Williams won as well.. and always as a privateer, remember ;)

    6. I saw this headline yesterday, and let out a very small sigh of relief.
      The longer the process seemed to be going on, the more fearful I was that Renault would decide against the idea. had they decided against, I think it would have had tremendous knock-on effects, well beyond the conundrum of supplying engines to you-know-who, and may have further de-stabalised one or two other teams and damaged F1 hugely.

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