Lotus confident of Renault deal, but Merc a back-up

He admits it is not a done deal just yet, but Lotus F1 team CEO Matthew Carter says he is "confident" that the Renault takeover will happen.

After months of talk of will they or won't they, Renault finally signed a letter of intent at the end of September with confirmation that it plans to buy the Enstone squad.

However, several weeks later and the agreement is yet to be signed off, but Carter feels it is only a matter of time.

"Renault issued a letter of intent, so behind the scenes the Renault and Lotus senior management are working flat out to make sure that we get the deal done," he told the official Formula 1 website.

"Things are progressing, but these things take time. I am confident that the deal is going to happen, but as I said, it needs time to get it across."

He did add: "We know that in business anything can happen and as long as there are no signatures on the documents the deal is not concluded – but confidence is very high!"

Lotus, though, do have a back-up plan should the Renault deal fall through.

"We have two options for an engine next year: either we go with Mercedes or Renault," Carter said.

 "We are progressing along that route. We’ve got two designs for next year’s car and we are pushing forward with both options."

He added: "But that is a rather unlikely option that we will go into the 2016 season with a Mercedes engine. And if we were to, yes, that would mean that the Renault deal felt flat. But my strong guess is that it will be a Renault engine next year."

When asked if the Lotus name will disappear should things go according to plan, he replied: "If the deal with Renault goes through, then yes. Then the team will not be called Lotus – then the name will fall out of Formula One.

"Right now we have a license to use the name Lotus – and that license will be terminated. So someone else could go for that name!"

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