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F1: Renault finalise Lotus takeover

2015-12-22 08:32

RETURN TO F1: Renault will return to F1 and its new team name will be announced in February in 2016 . Image: AFP / Mohd Rasfan

Paris - Renault finalised its takeover of Lotus on as the French constructor prepares to return to Formula 1 in 2016.

A statement read: "On Friday 18 December 2015, Group Renault...formally and successfully completed the acquisition...of a controlling shareholding of Lotus F1 Team Limited."

The new team name will be announced in Paris in February.

'Good progress'

The statement added: "The technical teams are making good progress to have the 2016 car ready for testing in Barcelona at the end of February."

Renault boss Carlos Ghosn had announced the takeover earlier in month.

The French firm's return as a full team comes after the acrimonious split with Red Bull which garnered four drivers' world titles in a row but ended after Renault had become angered by the Austrian team's criticism of their engines in 2015.

In taking over Lotus, Renault are essentially buying back the team it had sold to Genii Capital in 2009 and which was renamed Lotus F1 Team for the 2012 season.

Associated with the sport since 1977, Renault has two drivers and constructors titles to its name when Fernando Alonso won back-to-back championships in 2005-06.

Lotus had been in financial trouble all year as Genii Capital scaled back their investment in the team, resulting in unpaid bills and a cash-flow problem.

The 2016 Formula 1 season will begin with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 20.


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