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Renault factory team: Lotus purchase with domino effect

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D he ink on the purchase option is not yet dry, it says so new Renault works team already at the center of speculation. Renault has been working on taking over Lotus since mid-July. It would be the third edition of the French national racing team.

The first episode lasted from 1977 to 1985. The second from 2002 to 2009. We do not yet know exactly when the third will begin. The official starting shot and the actual beginning of the new era do not necessarily have to have the same date.

When Renault returns as an independent racing team, a domino effect arises. You don't yet know which stones will fall where. But that should be clarified by the end of September. It takes around 4 weeks to rewrite all contracts and rights to the new owner.

One thing is certain: Even if Renault will probably only buy 65 percent of the shares, the French are the new owner. Presumably under the command of Alain Prost and Cyril Abiteboul. The previous owners are then only silent partners.

Driver choice depends on Renault

The first problem, that is the question of the driver. Renault wants to keep Romain Grosjean. Pastor Maldonado is on the brink. But it is possible that the Venezuelan will stay for a transition year. Its sponsor PDVSA brings around $ 50 million. Should Renault decide otherwise, the race will open on a free cockpit. And that on the sponsoring millions of Maldonado.

The second question is when Renault will join as a works team. 3 scenarios are discussed for the 2016 season. First variant: It continues as before. Renault insists on the contracts with Red Bull and Toro Rosso and lets Lotus continue to drive with Mercedes engines for a year. The French are using the 2016 season to rebuild the team and develop the engine for 2017.

Option two: Lotus will start in 2016. Red Bull and Toro Rosso will stay on board for another year. They're making money, and compared to 2015, they could better be used to identify the engine's progress. One would also have a good measure of where Lotus with the identical engine would stand in comparison to the two Red Bull teams. Disadvantage: There would be slaps in the face from Milton Keynes if the results were poor.

The third variant: The Renault works team will start in 2016. Full concentration on their own project.Without annoying background noise from Red Bull and Toro Rosso. They are released from their contracts early. Red Bull could then stock up on Mercedes engines, Toro Rosso with Ferrari engines.

Disadvantage of the number. If Renault voluntarily resigns, Total and Infiniti's sponsorship deals with Red Bull will continue for another year. If Red Bull terminates against Renault's will, these contracts will also expire, and the partners' money would be immediately free for the Renault works team. It is said to be the not inconsiderable sum of 88 million dollars.

Renault plans with Mercedes budget

Renault is allegedly planning with a budget of 300 million dollars. So Mercedes level. A large part is financed externally. Renault wants to give up the World Series racing series, which should save 50 million. Total and Infiniti contribute almost 90 million.

A bonus of 12 million can be expected from Bernie Ecclestone's box office plus the prize money that is available for 5th or 6th place. So also around 60 million. Partner GĂ©rard Lopez should use his business connections to find additional sponsors or keep existing ones. In the end, Renault doesn't have to put too much on it.


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