Renault are set to complete a takeover of the Lotus outfit next week, Autosport reports, returning the French manufacturer to ‘works team’ status.
The company, which currently supplies Red Bull and Toro Rosso with engines, has been considering its future in Formula 1 since the beginning of the year.
It had weighed up three options; to quit F1, continue as an engine supplier, or return to team ownership.
However it’s believed Renault has finally agreed to take a majority stake in Lotus – the team it formally owned – following months of negotiation.
Autosport cites sources which have confirmed Renault will take a 65 per cent stake in the team, in return for ten annual payments of £7.5 million ($11.5m), valuing the team at £115m ($177m).
Four-time world champion and Renault ambassador Alain Prost – who is expected to be heavily involved in the team – will take a 10 per cent stake, leaving current owner Gerard Lopez, through his investment company Genii, with the remaining 25 per cent.
It’s believed final contracts will be signed off on Monday and a deal could be announced later that week.
Whilst Renault’s ownership takes hold from 2016, it’s believed they are yet undecided on how to approach next season due to current contractual obligations with Red Bull.
The Milton Keynes based team has priority status, meaning it would sit above Renault’s own team, therefore one option would be for Lotus to continue using Mercedes engines until 2017, when Red Bull’s contract expires.
Alternatively, Renault could help Red Bull and its sister team Toro Rosso to find alternative power units, allowing it to focus on its own project, similart to McLaren and Honda.