Report: Lotus working on Renault engine deal, name tweak

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Lotus is closing in on going truly retro: Teaming with Renault for its engines.

The BBC is reporting the details, which the team is not yet confirming:

Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes and technical director Mike Gascoyne had a meeting with Renault on Sunday morning at the British Grand Prix.

Both sides are keen on a deal, which is expected to include road car tie-ins.

Gascoyne refused to comment on Renault but said: “We have a contract with Cosworth and we’re discussing with them ways to work together in the future.”

[snip]

The new team is called Lotus Racing but BBC Sport understands they are close to finalising a deal with the owners of the Team Lotus brand to reinstate the historic name.

The new Lotus team is already being treated by F1 authorities as a continuation of the former one, which was set up by the legendary Colin Chapman, earning prize and appearance money on the basis of Team Lotus’s historic results.

I certainly don’t think the Cosworth engine in the cars this year have anything to do with the team’s still being at the back of the grid — albeit by consensus the best of the new teams. Perhaps the deal is as much a matter of making those connections to the past — Aryton Senna and Nigel Mansell both drove Lotus-Renaults — that much more pronounced.

I wonder, though, what level of team commitment — how many teams, in other words — Cosworth might require in order to stick with Formula 1. I suppose if there is another new team next year, it likely would throw Cosworth lumps into the chassis.

Anyone think the Renault are noticeably better than the Cosworths? The Williams cars seemed pretty competitive versus Renault in recent races. And I’d bet we’d all chalk up Red Bull’s success to the chassis more than the engine.

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