Matthew Carter

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Lotus confident Renault takeover will go ahead

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Lotus CEO Matthew Carter remains confident that Renault’s proposed takeover of the British team will go ahead despite the deal still being yet to be confirmed.

Renault signed a letter of intent ahead of a buy-out of Lotus back in September, saving the team from administration and ensuring that it remained on the grid.

However, since this announcement was made, little more has been said by either Lotus or Renault regarding the deal, sparking speculation that the deal may be on the rocks.

In an interview with the official Formula 1 website, Carter remained confident that the deal will go ahead, but did concede that the team is still planning for life without Renault just in case talks break down.

“Renault issued a letter of intent, so behind the scenes the Renault and Lotus senior management are working flat out to make sure that we get the deal done,” Carter said.

“Things are progressing, but these things take time. I am confident that the deal is going to happen, but as I said, it needs time to get it across.

“We know that in business anything can happen and as long as there are no signatures on the documents the deal is not concluded – but confidence is very high.

“We have two options for an engine next year: either we go with Mercedes or Renault. We are progressing along that route. We’ve got two designs for next year’s car and we are pushing forward with both options.”

The time taken for Lotus and Renault to even provisionally agree a deal prompted lead driver Romain Grosjean to sign for Haas F1 Team for 2016, ending a long-running association with the Enstone-based operation.

However, Carter believes that Grosjean is in need of a new challenge, and is instead focusing on the new driver pairing of Jolyon Palmer and Pastor Maldonado for 2016.

“Romain is a great driver and he has been with us for a long time,” Carter said. “He is very professional and he always delivers for the team and I don’t know the ins and outs of his deal with Haas, but as far as I can see he is looking for a new challenge.

“He goes with our blessing – and hopefully we can move on with Jolyon and Pastor next year the way that we want to.”