Lotus admit Renault takeover talks are happening

Lotus have admitted that they are in talks with Renault about a possible takeover, having previously denied the team is for sale.

The Enstone outfit is struggling to settle its debts following a High Court petition from supplier Xtrac.

Meanwhile Pirelli refused to release tyres to Lotus for the Hungarian Grand Prix until a $500,000 payment had been made, but deputy team boss Federico Gastaldi brushed that aside.

"We had a problem with the bank transfer," he told Speed Week. "We are not so crazy that we will make the trip from the UK to Hungary without having the money for tyres.

"It was just bad timing. In this situation there is a lot of talk but it's a waste of time to have to refute all the rumours."

One rumour he is no longer refuting is that of a possible takeover by former owner Renault.

"The talks are between Gerard Lopez and the executive board. But I don't know about it in detail.

"We would welcome the return of Renault. It would be a huge advantage to have them back at Enstone. But the decision is not with us [the team], so we can do nothing except to say that we would welcome them back."

It's known that the French manufacturer is considering team ownership once again, along with quitting the sport. However the team ownership option received a boost last week when Bernie Ecclestone said Renault would qualify for historic status.