Lotus will become Renault in 2016, despite the supposed takeover having gone very quiet over the past few weeks following Renault’s signing of a letter of intent.
That’s according to chairman and team principal Gerard Lopez, who said the takeover is a “done deal” as far as he is concerned, admitting an official announcement has only been delayed by minor details which Renault are currently working out with Formula One Management.
“I think we’re pretty much there with Renault,” said Lopez, speaking at the Race of Champions event in London.
“I understand that Renault still has some things which they need to clear with Formula 1 and FOM, but as far as we’re concerned, I think we’re pretty much at a deal now.”
Lopez also confirmed he would stay on after the takeover, as Renault are only expected to purchase a 65 per cent stake, giving them a majority, but allowing Lopez and his shareholders to retain a small holding in the team.
“I won’t be finished, funnily enough, because they’ve asked me to stay on, so if and when a deal happens, I will stay on.
“I will still be an owner, but not in the capacity that I have now,” he confirmed.
It’s expected Renault will make an official announcement at the season finale in Abu Dhabi next weekend.