Renault one step closer to factory team return

A return to Formula 1 for a factory Renault F1 Team is closer to being completed after a letter of intent was signed between the manufacturer and Gravity Motorsports S.a.r.l. to buy a controlling stake in the Lotus F1 Team.

Renault are looking to return to Formula 1 in 2016, and although details between the two parties need to be sorted out, it looks ever more likely that the Enstone-based team will once again be racing under the banner of the French team.

A statement released by Renault Sport on Monday revealed that the deal will be completed once all the terms and conditions are met between them and other interested parties.

“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,” read the statement.

“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.”

Pastor Maldonado has already been confirmed to drive for the Enstone-based team in 2016, but is likely to be joined by a new yet-to-be-announced team-mate as Romain Grosjean looks ever increasingly likely to jump ship to the new Haas F1 Team next year.