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Lotus legal case over unpaid tax adjourned for second time

Case brought by HMRC has been adjourned for another 10 days

Romain Grosjean
Image: Lotus: Court hearing adjourned for another seven days

The legal case against Lotus brought by HMRC over unpaid tax has been adjourned for a second time.

As the Singapore GP weekend got underway with the team's cars on track for Practice One on Friday, the Enstone-based outfit was in the High Court over an unpaid tax bill - in a case that reportedly could see the team go into administration.

Lotus CEO Matthew Carter told Sky Sports F1 that the case had been adjourned, with the next hearing on September 28. Mr Justice Birss told the hearing that it would be the "final adjournment".

The team were forced into court earlier this month as a result of failing to pay one month's PAYE (income tax and national insurance) to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, only for the case to be adjourned for two weeks.

The first adjournment request was made by HMRC after the judge received a letter from a lawyer acting on behalf of Renault.

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The French manufacturer is believed to be on the verge of buying the team. However, a sticking point has been the additional 'historic constructor' payments they want from F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

Reports suggested that Renault's offer is for 65 per cent ownership of the team, worth $100m to be paid over a period of 10 years. On top of that, they would also come up with an operating budget.

Speaking earlier this week, Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said the French manufacturer would either become a works outfit or leave F1 altogether, all-but confirming the end of their deals with Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

According to Reuters, 'Lotus said a substantial payment was due from Venezuelan oil company PDVSA on Nov 1, with that sponsorship set to continue into 2016 after issues with Renault were resolved, but warned that would not be forthcoming if the team went into administration.'

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