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Court battle: Lotus' cars finally leave Belgium

2015-08-27 09:36

ALLOWED TO LEAVE BELGIUM: Court action against saw the F1 team stranded in Belgium. Image: AP / Manu Fernandez

SPA, Belgium - Four days after the Belgian GP, Lotus and its black and gold cars have finally left Spa-Francorchamps.

All of the Enstone team's transporters and race equipment had been barred from returning to its UK headquarters by court bailiffs, following action taken by disgruntled former reserve driver Charles Pic.

Pic is demanding an $800 000 settlement for breach of contract, but it is believed he is not the only creditor. Toyota is understood to also be owed money.

ALLOWED TO LEAVE SPA

Nonetheless, Lotus has now been allowed to leave Spa, French broadcaster Canal Plus reports.

Canal Plus said: "Although the dispute between Lotus and Pic is not fully resolved, progress has been made."

Lotus tweeted a flipgram of the Belgian GP:

It could be that the 'progress' is movement in the negotiations between Lotus and the French carmaker Renault, who are believed to have made a concrete offer to take over the Enstone team.

The French magazine Auto Hebdo claims Renault is offering €7.5-million now, and a further €50-million to be paid to Lotus' current owners over the next ten years.

"GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH MERCEDES"

Renault would then own 60% of the team, with quadruple world champion and F1 legend Alain Prost coming on board with 10% in a deal similar to that between Niki Lauda and Mercedes.

Gerard Lopez would reportedly then retain 30%, including a post as consultant.

At Lotus' Enstone base, fingers are crossed that a deal can be signed quickly.

Austrian news agency APA quotes Lotus engineer Alan Permane: "We would welcome them (Renault) with open arms. We have a great relationship with Mercedes, but to again be a factory team would be fantastic."


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