Renault in talks with Lotus to form new team in F1
Renault had always been their own independent team in the F1 while supplying engines to others but the latest word going around are suggesting that they might be revising their strategy and form an alliance with Lotus to become Renault-Lotus, very much similar to the McLaren Mercedes tie-up.
Whichever the deal will be, Renault will not in any way compromise their current relationship with Red Bull which Renault claims to still have a lot of tangible benefits particularly in terms of branding.
On the other hand, Lotus Racing, which is going through some crisis with the naming of their team next year might have an answer to their current situation if the partnership happens. If they are to be named Lotus Renault Racing, then the Team Lotus branding strategy might not go ahead. Datuk Tony Fernandes, the team principal of Lotus Racing recently announced that the team will change its name to Team Lotus starting next season as well as the new engine supplier from Cosworth to Renault.
The owner of Lotus, Proton however disputed the announcement where they said that they did not consent the change of name and threatened to pull out their sponsorship altogether from the 1Malaysia Formula 1 team. According to Eric Boullier, the team principal of Renault F1, there are indeed discussions going on between the team and Lotus Cars although they are also speaking to other sponsors but speculations are rife that Lotus would most likely get the green light where they might be given the option to buy-over in the future.
So, if Lotus Cars is to join Renault in this partnership deal, then it might spun the whole fiasco further as there might just be 2 Lotus linked teams in the Formula 1 next year. So far, the ‘talks’ are still ongoing and no one can say for sure what might happen then, but a Lotus-Renault joint project would surely be interesting to see and perhaps mount a stronger challenge next season.