D-Day came and went, as Lotus attended the High Court in London for the final time. Renault confirmed they had taken control of Gravity Motorsports, the Genii holding company for the Enstone F1 team, though the deal is rumoured not to be an outright purchase.
Renault’s legal representatives confirmed to Justice Birrs, “We have the keys, so to speak.” The judge then dismissed the claim from HMRC who were claiming £2.7million of unpaid tax from Lotus F1. The team’s CEO, Matthew Carter explained, “Everything has all gone through and is all completed. The payments to the creditors were released late last week. “Today was effectively just a simple box-ticking exercise.”
Renault had confirmed via a statement over the weekend that the takeover of the Lotus F1 team was complete and the interim management of the company will see Jerome Stoll take up the position of chairman, and Cyril Abiteboul as managing director. This appears to leave Matthew Carter out in the cold and it may be that the Enstone Technical Director, Nick Chester, is on his way out too.
Bob Bell is in place to strengthen the management team and the word is that there could be a return for Former Toyota and Caterham boss Mike Gascoygne.
Alain Prost, who was influential in persuading Carlos Ghosn that Renault should return to Formula One as a works team, admitted the road had been long and hard. “It was difficult, for sure,” he said admitting it had been a “fight” to win the argument that Renault should be more than an F1 power unit supplier.
The French quadruple world champion explained the difficulty in changing Ghosn’s mind. “It was a long decision because of what happened you know, the relationship with Red Bull.” Prost added, “So it was quite a big commitment. You need to understand that they had to take their time to decide what to do. We all know in this company maybe it takes time, but when they are committed, it is going to be okay.”
TJ13 believes that Alain Prost is now set to take up a similar role at Renault to the one occupied by Niki Lauda at Mercedes. He has been key in driving forward Renault’s renewed commitment to Formula One in a deal with Ecclestone that has been reported to run until 2024.
Not Gascoyne! No!
Not Prost! No!
Oh come on!!!!!!!!!! Enstone was my 1st factory visit way back. Were told the drivers where on site but under no circumstances should we try and talk to them if spotted during the tour… That went well 😉
Well done Renault for stepping back into the fray BUT Gascoyne…. NO NO NO
Took his millions from Toyota, Commuted from Blighty to Germany weekly on a personal jet and absolved himself of all responsibility when it collapsed. Caterham also went to the wall despite having invested hundreds of millions with him at the helm…. His ‘piece de resistance’ has always been tooted as getting the most from a startup team on a shoestring!
The guys @ ‘Jordan’ have survived, excelled remarkably well, since his departure proving this is nonsense and the Enstone guys do not need this @&**%£$”!
To be clear……NOT A FAN…. Please put you foot down Mr Bell. As a fellow countryman surely you can see this would be a mistake?
I’ve never quite understood the hate for Gascoyne? wasn’t he designing Jordan’s around 98-99 when they were their most successful? Then went over to Benetton/Renault and rebuilt that into the 05-06 championship winning team? And I thought he was pushed from Toyota due to him wanting to run the team his way?
The main question mark for me is his loyalty. He seems to jump ship as soon as a better offer is on the table and hasn’t actually seen anything through?
He’s too slow: his first cars always look like boxes (Toyota and Caterham – before I don’t know). I guess he uses that to calibrate windtunnels / CFD, but you can’t afford that approach anymore – as shown with Toyoya – on the biggest budget ever – and Caterham.
Besides that, he comes across as very full of himself.
So he gets my NOOOOO as well. I don’t hate him though.
I hope he doesn’t go for some french driver not good enough to be mentioned but out of patriotic sentiment gets a seat because prost can be that way.
When Prost ran his team he went bankrupted.
A great choice…
Prost admittted later that wanting to run his own team was his biggest mistake in F1… At least he knows what he can and can’t do.
So Prost’s role will be that of rodeo clown?