Lotus F1 not for sale

The French manufacturer has struggled over the past two seasons, with the switch to hybrid power seeing those cars fitted with Renault engines falling further and further down the grid.

As a result there has been speculation that Renault will leave the sport, but an alternative suggestion has been that they will look to purchase a works team.

Lotus F1 were formally owned by Renault before the team was sold to Genii Capital at the end of 2009. Lotus Cars became involved with the team in 2011, and it was first rebranded to 'Lotus Renault GP' in 2011 and then to 'Lotus F1' in 2012.

The Enstone outfit cut ties completely with Renault ahead of the 2015 campaign and they are now powered by Mercedes engines.

However, given their relationship they had with Renault, it has been suggested that it is Lotus that the French outfit will look to purchase if they decide to head in the direction of team ownership. It's a proposition that Lotus F1 chief executive Matthew Carter does not believe will come to fruition.

"I know that Renault are evaluating their role within F1 at the moment," Carter told the Daily Telegraph.

"I think they are from a fairly high level trying to decide whether they just make engines, whether they pull out of the sport altogether or whether they look at a works team.

"My shareholders have said quite specifically the team isn't for sale," he added.

Carter asserted that his team's Luxembourg-based owners have no reason to sell the team.

"I guess there's a famous quote that everything's for sale at a price but certainly shareholders have told me they don't want to sell the team, they don't want to give up their majority interest in the team," he said.

"We believe that with a Mercedes power unit, we've given ourselves a chance to perform as we should do."