Renault hope to confirm their plans for the 2016 Formula One season next week, including the expected takeover of Lotus, managing director Cyril Abiteboul said on Friday.

The French company have been in talks with Lotus for several months and have sent key members of staff to work with the existing members of the Lotus team at their Enstone headquarters.

But with Lotus struggling to meet their expenses – F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone paid the team’s bills for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – the deal has not yet been finalised.

“There will be no announcement regarding Renault’s future, short or middle term, this weekend,” said Abiteboul after opening practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“But there will be an announcement, very likely in the course of the next week. We have always said we’d like to do that after the season – the season ends on Sunday.”

He said the delays were ‘typical Formula One’ but confirmed that much of the work to complete the takeover had been done.

“It’s been a proper roller-coaster for us,” he said. “There has been a lot of work done between Lotus and Renault since we agreed a letter of intent.

“Fifty people have been working, night and day, on the realising of a majority stake in Lotus.”

Renault are also expected to make clear their involvement in an engine supply deal with Red Bull. 

Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi said final details of the takeover were all that remained to be done.

When Renault signed a letter of intent with Lotus in September, the team were told by the High Court they had until December 7 to resolve their future.

The team are involved in an unresolved case about their tax affairs in Britain. – Agence France-Presse

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