Renault and Lotus have made the first formal public acknowledgement of an impending future takeover deal by confirming that a letter of intent has been signed.
The news comes on the day of a the court case in London involving HMRC, the UK tax authorities. The judge had previously told Lotus that there would be no more extensions involving the £900,000 claim.
The letter involves Renault and Lotus F1 parent company Gravity Motorsports. It makes it clear that it is still only a “potential acquisition,” and that it will proceed only if “all terms and conditions are met between them and other interested parties.” The latter group clearly includes Bernie Ecclestone.
The full statement read as follows: “Renault Group and Gravity Motorsports S.a.r.l., an affiliate of Genii Capital SA, are pleased to announce the signature of a Letter of Intent regarding the potential acquisition by Renault of a controlling stake in Lotus F1 Team Ltd.
“The signature of this Letter of Intent marks Renault’s first step towards the project of a Renault Formula 1 team from the 2016 racing season thereby extending 38 years of commitment of the brand to world’s premier motorsport championship series.
“Renault Group and Gravity will work together in the coming weeks to eventually turn this initial undertaking into a definitive transaction provided all terms and conditions are met between them and other interested parties.”