The long-anticipated deal will see Renault re-acquire the team currently known as Lotus F1 from present owner Genii Capital, an investment fund. Renault owned the team outright before selling it to Genii back in 2009. This move will see the Enstone outfit move back under Renault's roof – and hopefully get more resources than Genii could muster. Renault recently had to come to the team's rescue after an outstanding tax bill threatened to send it into bankruptcy.
The deal will likely mean the end of the Lotus name in F1 once again, after the rights were hotly contested between this team and the now-departed Caterham outfit. The Enstone-based outfit will become Renault's principal team, just as Mercedes and Ferrari run their own teams and also supply engines to others.
Over its various eras of ownership, the team has shown that it has what it takes to win, given the right drivers and resources. The question is whether Renault can get its engines up to speed again to catch up to its rivals. The partnership between Daimler and the Renault Nissan Alliance created speculation that the two could strike a deal in F1 as well that could see Renault running Mercedes engines in the future - just like the Lotus team currently does.
Renault Group and Gravity Motorsports S.a.r.l., an affiliate of Genii Capital SA, are pleased to announce the signature of a Letter of Intent regarding the potential acquisition by Renault of a controlling stake in Lotus F1 Team Ltd.
The signature of this Letter of Intent marks Renault's first step towards the project of a Renault Formula 1 team from the 2016 racing season thereby extending 38 years of commitment of the brand to world's premier motorsport championship series.
Renault Group and Gravity will work together in the coming weeks to eventually turn this initial undertaking into a definitive transaction provided all terms and conditions are met between them and other interested parties.