Lotus: Renault works return would be fantastic for F1

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Federico Gastaldi believes that a possible return of a Renault works team to Formula 1 through a takeover of Lotus would be highly positive for the sport.

Lotus is currently in talks with Renault about a buy-out for the 2016 season, but is yet to agree a deal with the French manufacturer.

Renault last enjoyed works status back in 2010 before selling the operation to what has now become Lotus F1 Team, working out of the Enstone base.

Speaking ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, deputy team principal Gastaldi made his thoughts on a possible return for Renault clear, saying that the financially-blighted Lotus would welcome such a deal with open arms.

“It would be fantastic for the sport and a mega-positive note for Enstone to see their return, but until any deal is signed, sealed and delivered we keep focused on our current tasks,” Gastaldi said.

“It would be a very different project for Enstone and there’s been a lot of change over the past few years since they last had a full works team entry.

“Here in Enstone we’re used to adapting and making the most of situations. Certainly we would relish any opportunity to be a works team and welcome them back!”

Gastaldi made no secret of the Lotus’ recent struggles, having faced a great deal of financial uncertainty in the past few months thanks to court orders and delayed sponsorship payments.

However, he urged caution to those reading reports on the future of the team, no matter how lean it has been operating.

“They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” Gastaldi said. “I can confirm that the team is very much alive but we have been going through a very strenuous workout programme this season!

“Things have certainly been tight and we’ve embraced the Japanese just-in-time philosophy a little too literally on occasions. All this has been necessary but we keep fighting the good fight.

“We believe in the team; we believe in Formula 1 and we believe we’ll still be here fighting for the rest of this season and beyond. Don’t believe any of the negative rumors you hear.”