Renault confirms works Formula 1 return in 2016

Renault has ended months of speculation about its Formula 1 future by confirming it will be taking over the Lotus team to resurrect a works outfit in 2016.

Renault confirms works Formula 1 return in 2016
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 E23
Renault Sport
Carlos Ghosn, Chairman of Renault on the grid
Pastor Maldonado, Lotus F1 E23 passes a Renault advertising hoarding
Renault Sport F1 employee
Pastor Maldonado, Lotus F1 E23
Renault logo on a truck
Race winner Fernando Alonso celebrates

The French car manufacturer has been evaluating its plans in F1 since the start of the campaign, and has spent the last few weeks trying to finalise its takeover of the Lotus outfit.

And, despite concerns last weekend in Abu Dhabi that the deal could be falling apart, Renault announced on Thursday night that the deal was done.

Renault chairman Carlos Ghosn said: “Renault had two options: to come back at 100 percent or leave. 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.”

Details in January

Renault said that the final details of its takeover of Lotus were intended to be completed in the 'shortest timeframe possible' – with the principal contracts having been signed on Thursday.

A statement issued by Renault made it clear that the final decision to commit to F1 came about because of its belief that motor sport was good for the company's image.

“Renault’s decision to continue its involvement in Formula 1 is confirmation that it sees motorsport as an essential part of the brand’s identity,” it said.

“Formula 1 is the ultimate symbol of the passion for automobiles. Passion defines Renault as expressed by its brand signature, ‘Passion for Life’. In addition to attracting many customers, Formula 1 also fuels employee motivation.

“As the pinnacle of motor sport, Formula 1 demands technological and operational excellence. The championship serves as a showcase for the technological expertise that Renault dials into its products for the benefit of its customers.”

Renault added that the full details of Renault's future F1 operation would be revealed early next year.

“In January, we will provide more detailed information about Renault’s F1 programme ahead of the 2016 championship that begins next March,” added the statement.

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