Renault announces Lotus deal

Renault has confirmed its return to F1 with the purchase of the Lotus team. It’s bizarre to do that late on a Thursday night but at least it is done.

“Renault had two options: to come back at 100 percent or leave,” said Carlis Ghosn. “After a detailed study, I have decided that Renault will be in Formula 1, starting 2016. The final details supplied by F1’s main stakeholders gave us the confidence to accept this new challenge. Our ambition is to win – even if it will take some time.”

The company said that payback as an engine supplier “proved to be limited” and that the principal contracts were signed on December 3.

Renault said that it has “taken part in more than 600 Grand Prix, claiming 168 race wins, 12 Constructors’ titles and 11 Drivers’ crowns”. It is a little odd that the company does not know that the plural of Grand Prix is Grands Prix, but the good news is that the firm is back.
 “In January, we will provide more detailed information about Renault’s F1 programme ahead of the 2016 championship that begins next March.”

71 thoughts on “Renault announces Lotus deal

  1. Thank goodness this has gone through, not only for the sport but for the human side too – two of my neighbours work at Enstone so at least they still have jobs. It’s been a worry.

    1. nickplanas, I have a friend whose husband works there and I was lucky enough to meet a lot of the guys on the race team at a Grand Prix last year. I was at 2 races this year (no access to the garage this time round) but from outside it was great to see the dedication of the team members, even through the worst times. Glad your friends and mine finally have some good news after all they’ve been through!

  2. Probably because suppliers were going to cut off shipments or the like if a public announcement wasn’t made. Happens often in business.

      1. Joe,

        Any thoughts yet on who they might sign for 2017? Do they have their eye on anyone specific? How much chance do either Pastor or Jolyon have of being retained?

  3. This is great news. Losing Renault would have spelled disaster for the Enstone squad (I believe) great to see all those employees will be able to enjoy the next few months with that weight off their shoulders and prepare for next season with confidence that the backing of a major manufacturer gives them some job security in the long term (Renault will have made their decision based on a 7 to 10 year plan) I don’t expect big results before 2017, but if the budget is comparable with other manufacturer teams, as was reported early in the protracted takeover, we should expect big things. On that note . . . Will we see the reported $70 million saving from Infiniti leaving Red Bull heading that way? and do we know if FOM have agreed a suitable payment for the historical success in Grand(s) Prix, Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships?

  4. About fucking time.

    Renault and Enstone have played games for 18 months. Playing games with the lives of canteen workers and cleaners.

    How many people at Enstone earn £100,000 per year? Or less than £20,000 per year?

    Renault will take over the Enstone business, and it will not cost much to treat employees with respect by paying an honest wage.

    By best wishes.

    1. About fucking time, indeed. I’d lay blame at the feet of the F1 folks, though, not Renault’s. I might be went but it seems like they played games with the “Heritage” money- a concept I don’t like, but if it’s part of the system Renault definitely deserves a fair share.

      1. Agreed, and if Carlos has any sense he’ll do the due diligence Genii never did… there’s still clueless high-salaried idiots doing f-all all day

  5. Good News but I’m sure we would have had more entertainment than the Grand Prix’s of late by being a fly on the wall between BE, Carlos Ghosn and his Right Hand Man. Now THAT would have been worth paying for.

  6. Dear Joe, all
    ‘payback on the engine side “proved to be limited”‘!! Well, if they had an F1 ‘understatement of the year’, surely that would win for 2015?

  7. All that saga about the Lotus brand, name and legacy is history now.

    I wonder who will keep the rights to use it come the day Lotus return to F1 to yet another spell.

    All in all, good news for F1 as Renault means business. I just hope they don’t go anywhere near Briatore or Alonsl again so they can fight the good fight.

    Here’s to a great 2016!

    1. Faux team:

      4 years.
      2 race wins.
      25 podiums.

      Sauber / BMW Sauber.
      23 years (including 4 years as full works team).
      1 race win.
      27 podiums.

      Tyrrell. Multiple world champions. Total podiums: 77, in 28 years.

      I think quite a few actual teams over the years wouldn’t have minded being called fakes in exchange for results like these.

      Like the real 1959-1960 works Aston Martin F1 effort, for example.

      1. But they could of called themselves anything and had the same results, you connect the two things when there is no reason to.

        Calling them faux lotus is 100% correct.

        1. They had a relationship with Group Lotus, a still-active road car manufacturer founded by Colin Chapman and based in Norfolk. The original plan was that Group Lotus would take a major shareholding, and that plan fell through because of problems at Norfolk end, not the F1 end.

          Actually, I don’t think they’re really Lotus. But in my eyes, a car built in Brackley by the former ‘Honda’ F1 team with engines from Northampton is a fake Mercedes that has *** all to do with the pre-war Silver Arrows. And the blue and yellow cars built in Enstone, England that won championships a decade ago were fake Renaults with *** all to do with Jabouille and Tétu’s original (brave, brilliant) yellow teapots.

          It’s all marketing horse manure anyway. Very little of it has any authentic history. Why draw the line at Lotus, just because Chapman chose to split his race team and car factory into two separate companies and Ferrari didn’t?

      2. Not sure how I forgot Toyota of course.

        8 years, 13 podiums, half a squillion dollars (for a given value of squillion), no wins.

        Either authenticity is overrated, or I guess there must be a real team underneath there somewhere.

  8. Very exciting to see Renault back full-on. I assume the 2016 car has to be mostly redesigned to accompany the Renault motor. Do you think any of the Lotus sponsorship will carry over with the Renault takeover? I ask because it seems late to be looking for sponsors (and to redesign a car!), although if this has been in the works for months perhaps things were put into motion a while ago?

  9. Actually Joe, the plural of Grand Prix is still Grand Prix. It’s the prix that gets the s for plural, not the adjective grand, however s after x is not done in French. So one Grand Prix, two Grand Prix.

      1. Have to agree with Joe on that one. ‘Prix’ with an ‘x’ doesn’t have an ‘s’ added, but ‘grand’ does in the plural. And I would put the ‘g’ and ‘p’ (grands prix) in lower case because we’re not talking about the name of an event (as in ‘British Grand Prix’, for example)

      2. An English speaker could argue that these are ‘loan words’ from French anyway, so they don’t follow the French rule whereby the two words have to agree on the plural form.

        But, given Renault is a French constructor, you’d have thought they would know better. The writer was probably a English PR.

    1. I know Joe’s response is all JV’s comment deserves, but I hate to see someone trying – and failing – to be clever. The one thing JV has correct is that the plural of prix is prix, but both grand and prix will be plural – hence Grands Prix.

      On a far more important note, this is great news and finally the people at Enstone can move forward.

    2. In French, noun and adjective have to agree on gender and number as I recall. So Joe would be correct, thus ‘Grands Prix’ (‘Prix” would be male in this case and the same spelling singular or plural).

  10. I do hope their 2016 cars are not too fast. I have no wish to see Pastor Maldonado gettting near to the front of the grid. I can’t see him getting a second year with Renault, no matter how much money he brings to the party.

    1. There always was the feeling that as soon as the money problems were settled, he’d be given the elbow. I hope it’s sooner rather than later now that the purchase of the team has been confirmed as the man is a liability out on the track.

  11. “It is a little odd that the company does not know that the plural of Grand Prix is Grands Prix.” You and me, both! Even worse, methinks, TV and radio announcers and commentators who say ” Gronds Pree.” Aaargh!!!

    1. Enstone staff have had it tough. I hope this secures their futures and they all have a wonderful Christmas.

  12. “It is a little odd that the company does not know that the plural of Grand Prix is Grands Priix”

    Maybe they’re focusing on the straights, rather than the Essex?

  13. Joe,

    Red Bull have announced that “they” (referring to Renault) now have a “technical partnership” with Ilmor.

    Will RBR will be running the same power unit specification as the works team next year? Or are they (as has been much rumoured elsewhere) going to use their own energy recovery systems and / or an-in house development of the Renault ICE with only the block and certain other parts carried over?

  14. “It is a little odd that the company does not know that the plural of Grand Prix is Grands Prix”

    Maybe they’re focussing on the straights, rather than the esses.

  15. Renault has come out of this situation completely on top. They get paid more than before to supply RBR with the same PU, but the blame and whinging from RBR for the same unit will no longer be directed at Renault because it is now called Tag Heuer. And Tag Heuer can pretend to be TAG of the Porsche days.

    “Speaking about the announcement, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “TAG Heuer has been an icon in the world of Formula 1 for many years and we’re delighted that they’ve chosen to continue their association with the sport by teaming up with us.

    “Our shared values of innovation and a desire to stand out from the crowd make this one of the most exciting partnerships in F1.

    “We are also pleased to see Renault confirm its long-term commitment to F1 and would like to thank them for their contribution to the team since 2007.

    “Their technical partnership with Ilmor gives us confidence, and we look forward to the 2016 season.”

    RBR got screwed the most out of all this but can save face with clickbait F1 merchants who believe they have a new engine supplied by the same people who powered McLaren years ago.

    And Renault have a works F1 team for free, with 2 pay drivers and no bitching from Horner anymore

    And Horner confirms that there are no RBR produced ERS components or development, only a Renault PU with Renault contracting Mario Illien to assist

    1. > And Horner confirms that there are no RBR produced ERS components or development, only a Renault PU with Renault contracting Mario Illien to assist.

      I interpret the announcement the same way you do, but don’t entirely share your confidence that that’s actually the situation.

      Any word on this, Joe?

    2. Your last para – in the considerable reporting I’ve read of this matter, not seen such confirmation, curious to pick it up.

  16. I’m sure they’ll do very well. Or they would if they weren’t hampered by that dreadful Renault engine.

  17. Grand Prix, Stadiums. Lettre persans, etc

    I am a great believer in submitting to the rules of English when you use English: even when, esp when, you borrow a noun from a foreign tongue. So if we were conversing in latin, we would talk about “stadia” but in the Queen’s English the plural is an “S” added to the end of the word, thank you so much.

    Have a nice apres midi!

  18. I like Renault. Even when they cheated they did it with style. Now, if only they could persuade the fat boy to return to manage the team and Mr Alonso to stop wasting his talents elsewhere we could see more F1 fun 🙂

  19. The good is that Formula One had now another powerful protagonist also included Mercedes, Ferrari and hopefully Red Bull and McLaren (When they find the right form) . The bad is that Renault will need time (3 to 5 years). If i were Ghosn, i will try to use the Lotus name to 2016 meanwhile the results of a good budget makes the awaited effect. Therefore in 2017 they could take some ideas like “Nissan-Renault” with new delivery and another driver rather Maldonado.

  20. Very glad that all of this has happened and even happier to see Ilmor getting involved to boost the Renault Engine. Hopefully Honda call in some assistance soon, as I want to see a complete competitive grid more than anything. Any hints of that would be appreciated Joe.

    My main question however is concerning JEV. Renault now have the money from CVC/FOM and they still have Red Bull buying engines, so what are the chances they get a decent, under valued, french f1 driver in Jean-Eric and bring him in instead of Mad Maldonado??

    Would be greatly appreciated

  21. Joe,

    May I ask, what is the general reaction to this announcement in France?

    Are politicians upset that Renault is throwing money at the mega rich? Or that the company is saving jobs abroad at a time of rising unemployment? Is there any chance that the factory will be relocated to France?

    I lived in France many years ago when F1 was very popular . . . ‘Allez Alain’ stickers everywhere . . . is this likely to bring about a revival of interest?

    1. Politicians are not expressed on the return of Renault in F1.

      F1 remains very popular in France.

      Many people are happy with this news.

    2. “Are politicians upset that Renault is throwing money at the mega rich?”

      We should assume that Renault will not urinate their money over a fountain.

      I proposed earlier that workers at Enstone, the shitty paid cleaners and canteen workers, deserve a big bonus.

  22. Hi Joe, partial off topic.. could you update us about the Dennis / Ojjeh saga concerning their respective shares / contfrolling stake in McLaren? Is LVMH’s brands switch (Chandon replaces TAG Heur) a simbolic sign of Ojjeh quitting McL? Thank you

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