Lotus F1 team sure it can avert HMRC court return with Renault deal

Lotus is confident of avoiding a return High Court date with HMRC as it closes in on resolving its future in Formula 1

Lotus F1 team sure it can avert HMRC court return with Renault deal

The team was forced into the High Court on Monday as a result of failing to pay one month's PAYE (income tax and national insurance) to HMRC, only for the case to be adjourned until Friday, September 18.

The adjournment request was made in good faith by HMRC and on the back of the judge, Mr Justice Birss, receiving a confidential letter from a barrister acting on behalf of Renault.

The French manufacturer is on the brink of concluding a deal to acquire Lotus, with the final hurdle securing additional payments from F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone with regard to its status as a historic constructor.

Renault is arguing by virtue of its standing in F1 - it has been involved in all bar five seasons since 1977 - it is deserving of a premium payment from Formula One Management's coffers along with Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull and Williams.

With Lotus's shareholders signing off on the financial arrangement with Renault last week - £65million for a 65 per cent stake - it is now a question of waiting to see if Ecclestone and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn can reach an agreement that would help push the takeover deal over the line.

Renault's return to Enstone would ultimately result in Lotus's creditors being paid off, including HMRC, negating the need to return for the second court appointment.

Speaking to AUTOSPORT, Lotus CEO Matthew Carter said: "I can positively say that process [with HMRC] will be dealt with before it gets back in front of the judge.

"Nobody wants the team to head into insolvency, so it's just a question of making sure people get paid and things are done in the right way.

"The thing to stress is we - us, our shareholders, Renault - are all on the same page.

"Everyone wants the same thing, it's now a question of making sure it happens in the right way.

"When we get through the other side - and I am absolutely convinced we will - it will all have been worthwhile. One way or the other we will get through it."

Carter has stated should the Renault deal fall through at the last minute then there are contingency plans in place, although he declined to elaborate.

But he added: "Both Renault and [current engine supplier] Mercedes are assisting us.

"It's fair for me to say everyone thinks it's a good idea Renault comes back in [as a works team] and there are more manufacturers in the sport."

Carter has also confirmed the issue with former reserve Charles Pic, which led to the team's cars and equipment being impounded by bailiffs following the Belgian GP, has now been fully resolved and will not resurface.

shares
comments
Ferrari reserve driver will get one Haas Formula 1 team seat

Previous article

Ferrari reserve driver will get one Haas Formula 1 team seat

Next article

F1 Strategy Group to discuss rules on teams using year-old engines

F1 Strategy Group to discuss rules on teams using year-old engines
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021