Renault buys controlling stake in Lotus to prepare for return to Formula 1

PARIS – Renault has bought a controlling stake in Lotus as the French carmaker prepares to launch its own Formula One team in 2016.

Renault, which has just been an engine supplier in recent seasons, said earlier this month it would finalize the Lotus acquisition as soon as possible.

On Monday, the carmaker said it acquired “a controlling shareholding” in Lotus the previous Friday. The new team name and management will be announced in February.

It withdrew as a works’ team from the constructor world championship in 2010.

But Renault felt it hadn’t gained sufficient credit with the public for its role behind the scenes – despite providing engines for Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel to win every title from 2010 to 2013.

The Australian GP opens the new season on March 20.