Lotus pushing for Renault to invest in team

Lotus F1 Team, LAT Photographic

26 August 2013 by Ryan Wood

Renault could soon be returning to Formula 1 after Lotus owner Gerard Lopez admitted he is pushing for the French manufacturer to become more involved in the team.

Whilst Renault quit the sport as a manufacturer team following the Singapore 'race fixing' scandal, it has remained involved as an engine supplier to multiple teams and has enjoyed much success.

However, despite the Renault powered Red Bull having won the previous three championships, it's engine supplier has received little in the way of recognition.

Sources close to both Lotus and Renault have suggested that the latter isn't too happy about this and is keen to earn greater praise from its involvement.

One suggestion put forward is for Renault to buy the team it once owned, Lotus. However this would be a costly exercise of which the company's shareholders wouldn't be too keen on.

Another suggestion, and one which seems quite likely, is for Renault to simply invest in Lotus, as Infiniti has done with Red Bull, re-brand the team as Renault, and reap the success, should it continue.

This is in fact what both Lopez and Kimi Raikkonen are hoping for, with the Finn keen to see a closer collaboration between the two before he signs a new contract.

"We understand what Kimi is waiting for," Lopez told 1news.ru.

"He is interested in what our relationship will be with Renault next year, things like that.

"The financial side is not a problem. What we are discussing is options that will allow us to establish a closer collaboration with Renault. Nothing more, nothing less."

Whilst nothing has been agreed yet, Lopez is confident Raikkonen will stay at Lotus.

"This [possible Renault deal] is all part of the negotiation process. I think it will happen soon enough.

"The chances that he [Raikkonen] will stay are very high. I really believe in it."