Lotus deputy chief Federico Gastaldi has described the team’s pending takeover by Renault like being “engaged to be married” as talks to finalize the deal continue.
Renault is poised to upscale its involvement in Formula 1 next season by reviving its works team at Enstone that last raced back in 2010.
On Monday, Renault announced that it had signed a letter of intent ahead of the purchase of Lotus, saving the team from administration due to an unpaid tax bill in the UK.
Speaking ahead of next weekend’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, Gastaldi was upbeat about the pending takeover, believing that the agreement will only motivate Lotus until the end of the season.
“It looks like we’re engaged to be married again, which is interesting as we’ve had a few relationships together before!” Gastaldi quipped.
“It’s positive for the sport and it’s positive for Enstone that a company with the history and prestige of Renault is looking to strengthen its role in Formula 1.
“It’s true we’ve both experienced a few knocks over the years but we’ve also had some exceptional highs and that makes us all collectively exceptionally motivated to harness our resilience and show everyone what we can do.”
The new Renault team will enter F1 in 2016 with one new driver after Romain Grosjean announced on Tuesday that he would be joining Haas for its debut season.
Gastaldi admitted that the Frenchman would be missed at Enstone, and that the team would take its time before confirming his replacement for next season.
“We know that we can now publically say bonne chance to Romain who is headed to pastures new next year,” Gastaldi said. “He’s been a real asset to us over the years so we’ll certainly miss him.
“We know we have Pastor [Maldonado] confirmed for one seat and we know that there are quite a few tasty drivers available out there and we’re doing everything to ensure that we’ve got a desirable race seat, which needs to be filled.
“What happens next is that there’ll be a number of discussions in a number of places then at some point we’ll have an announcement to make.”