In an interview with the media this weekend, Lotus CEO Matthew Carter has insisted that the team is not for sale; despite persistent rumours that it could be targeted by Renault.
The current iteration of the Enstone-based outfit, which was borne out of the Renault’s former factory F1 effort; has suffered with financial woes in recent years, though the team insists it is in considerably better shape than of previous years gone by.
It is an impression replicated by its on-track performance, with Lotus current sixth in the constructors’ standings after seven races, thanks in part to its decision to drop its Renault association in favour of Mercedes engine deal over the winter.
Indeed, though Carter in his interview this weekend suggests that Lotus does ‘have its price’, it is its ‘long-term’ deal with Mercedes that Carter suggests will rule it out of any potential takeover from a rival firm. Carter stated the following:-
‘I continue to say the same thing. The shareholders have told me that the company isn’t for sale. I think I’ve said in the press before that everything is sale for a certain price. That’s as much as I can say.’
As Carter has stated in his interview this weekend, Lotus is not for sale at the moment and if it was; it would be at a price that they feel reflects what the company is about and what assets it has acquired and Carter is not dismissing the prospect if this was the case in the near future.
After Renault sold its final stake in the former full manufacturer team in 2011, Lotus has operated under that guise ever since, retaining an engine supply from the French firm until 2015 when it switched to Mercedes power.
Further on in his interview, Carter stresses the importance of their long-term contract with Mercedes and will continue with the arrangement despite the rumours that are currently circulating. Carter added the following:-
‘I continue to reiterate that we signed a long-term contract with Mercedes Benz and as far as we’re concerned we just continue down that route. That last information I heard was that we were going to be sold by the end of May but we’re still here and we’re still the same team.’
Overall, it is clear that Lotus are happy with their management, how they are progressing and also the arrangement that they have with their engine supplier and want to build upon this for the future, even though if the right offer came about; they are indeed open to discussions. But for now, the future is looking brighter for Lotus and it is a welcomed step; given everything they have been through in the past few years.