Bernie Ecclestone calls on Renault to enter F1 as a works team

Bernie Ecclestone has called on Renault not to walk away from Formula 1 and instead return to the days of being a manufacturer team

Bernie Ecclestone calls on Renault to enter F1 as a works team

The Renault board is currently in the process of deciding which route to take in F1, with CEO Carlos Ghosn known to have held talks with F1 supremo Ecclestone on the matter.

Renault's contract with Red Bull and Toro Rosso to supply engines comes to an end following the 2016 season, with the French manufacturer evaluating its options for 2017 and beyond.

Renault will either maintain the status quo, quit F1 altogether or take over Lotus, with talks on that particular matter understood to be at an advanced level.

"They said they were going to have a look at it and hopefully come up with a decision by September," Ecclestone told AUTOSPORT.

"We'll have to wait and see, but it's up to them. If there's anything we can do to help them..."

F1's engine silly season about to kick off

Asked what he would like to see happen, Ecclestone replied: "I'd like them to take over Lotus, or start a new company on their own.

"I'd rather not lose them because they've been with us a long time and they are easy people to deal with, nice people, there are no dramas anywhere.

"It's just a case, from their point of view, of how much it is worth to them."

That is under evaluation as Renault has previously made clear the brand's level of exposure as an engine supplier is minimal.

Another of the issues understood to be facing Renault is the level of debt Lotus finds itself in, and how to approach that if it returns to Enstone.

Ecclestone revealed: "They won't take the debt on. They're hoping the people that put the debt in will write the debt off.

"But let's see what happens. It would be nice to think they won't disappear."

Given the difficulties faced on-track by Renault this season, of primary concern is ensuring it can build a competitive power unit if it is to again become a team in its own right.

"I'd like to see them get their engine competitive, and if that's the case then they will be in good shape," added Ecclestone.

"For them to come in [as a team] with an engine that is not competitive would not be good for them."

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