Lotus chairman Gerard Lopez says Renault takeover 'pretty much done'
French manufacturer set to return to F1 as a works team in 2016
By William Esler
Last Updated: 23/11/15 9:56am
Lotus chairman and team principal Gerard Lopez has told Sky Sports F1 that his team are now "pretty much at a deal" with Renault.
The French firm announced in September it had signed a letter of intent to buy back a controlling stake in Lotus and it seems protracted talks are now nearing a conclusion.
"I think we are pretty much there with Renault," Lopez told Sky Sports.
"I understand that Renault still have some things they need to clear with Formula 1 and FOM, but as far as we are concerned we are pretty much at a deal now."
However, if Renault do repurchase the Enstone team, it won't mean the end for Lopez in the F1 paddock.
"It won't be me finished because they have asked me to stay on, so when the deal happens, I will stay on," he added.
Asked how he would reflect on his time in charge of Lotus, the Luxembourgish businessman had fond memories.
"I'll look back on it as an amazing adventure," he beamed.
"You take over a team, they are eighth in the championship, you end up winning races, we had 23 podiums, so a very exciting time for a private team. So I am quite proud of what the team has achieved."
Lotus are currently embroiled in a fight for sixth in the constructors' championship with Toro Rosso, with the team publicly citing a lack of funding for holding back development of their E23.
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