Ecclestone baffled by Renault's delay over Lotus deal

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says he is baffled as to why Renault is taking so long to make a decision on whether or not to complete a buyout of the Lotus team.

Ecclestone baffled by Renault's delay over Lotus deal
Bernie Ecclestone,
Lotus F1 Team mechanic with forklift truck in the paddock
Ayao Komatsu, Lotus F1 Team Race Engineer
Lotus F1 Team mechanics with forklift trucks
Lotus F1 Team hospitality suite

Renault has been in talks with the struggling team for several weeks now, but no agreement has been reached, amid reports that the French manufacturer is seeking bonus payments from Ecclestone as a 'heritage' team before it completes the deal.

Ecclestone admitted on Friday that Lotus' future hanged in the balance and that time was running out.

Lotus has so far managed to avoid going into administration, but the next court hearing will take place on September 28, and the team has been warned there will be no further adjournments.

Ecclestone said he was now unsure if the deal would happen.

"Apparently Renault are going to take over Lotus. Apparently," Ecclestone told Reuters in an interview.

"This is what has been foreseen. Whether it will be completed, I don't know.

"If they don't complete it (the takeover) by Monday or put some money in soon... unless Renault come to the party, it won't happen."

He added: "It's strange that a company as large as Renault are taking such a long time to make a decision, to be honest with you.

"They've been waiting for us to make a contribution to give them a reason to do something, which we've done two weeks ago. So I don't know."

Ecclestone, who allowed the Lotus mechanics into the Paddock Club hospitality so they could be fed at Suzuka, said he had done everything possible to help the deal happen.

"What we've done for them is not anything that we need to do, or had to, but we've done it to try and be helpful and keep Renault in Formula 1. Our agreement is with Renault and not with Lotus."

Lotus's freight to Suzuka was delayed over payment delays, and the team was locked out of its hospitality tent, with Romain Grosjean having to talk to the media in the rain on Thursday.

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