Friday morning rumors at Interlagos UPDATE #3 (GMM) Renault team boss Eric Boullier has confirmed talks with the Proton owned sports car maker Group Lotus. Speculation at Interlagos this weekend has suggested Group Lotus, having terminated its naming license deal with the F1 team currently known as Lotus Racing, is keen to buy into Enstone based Renault.
It is understood that rumor may be wide of the mark, with Lotus keener instead to simply tie up with Renault as a title sponsor.
But rumors persist that Renault SA could step further away from F1 and remain on the grid only as an engine supplier to the Enstone based team as well as Red Bull and Lotus Racing.
When asked about the Group Lotus rumors, Boullier told Auto Hebdo in Brazil: "Today, there are discussions, but we also have these with other sponsors and other companies."
Renault SA chief Carlos Ghosn is expected at Interlagos on Sunday but no formal announcements are scheduled.
Boullier commented further about the apparently complicated situation.
"At the moment there are a lot of distorted rumors, but it is true there have been discussions about a possible collaboration," said the Frenchman. 11/06/10 The Webber rumor is downgraded to 'false' based on this Hot News article.
11/05/10 (GMM) Mark Webber on Friday would not categorically deny rumors he is set to quit Red Bull and possibly F1 after next Sunday's Abu Dhabi grand prix.
|Mark Webber eyes appear watered in Brazil - might it be true he is history?|
After making critical comments at Interlagos about the team's approach on Thursday, the big rumor in the paddock now is that the Australian is set to leave.
The chance he will simply retire – particularly if he wins the world championship – is considered high, although some believe he might be signed by Ferrari to replace the struggling Felipe Massa.
When asked if he is leaving Red Bull for 2011 despite having signed a contract, the 34-year-old told BBC Sport: "That's a pretty big step to take.
"As long as I'm enjoying my driving and performing really well, then of course I'll be here next year," added Webber.
But in a separate interview, Webber said only that there is "a good chance" he will still be at Red Bull next season.11/05/10 (GMM) Two interesting rumors emerged on Friday during the opening practice session at Interlagos.
During the BBC's radio coverage of the 90-minute session at 10am, commentators discussed the likelihood that the team currently known as Lotus will have to use a different name in 2011.
But a team could still be called 'Lotus', they said.
The reportedly "strong rumor" in the Brazilian paddock is that Proton owned Group Lotus, contesting Tony Fernandes' right to call his team Lotus in 2011, could buy into the Renault team.
Fascinatingly, the team currently known as Renault could then become known as Lotus-Renault in 2011.
Lotus Racing has done an engine deal with Renault for 2011, so it also wants to be called Lotus-Renault next year.
Another rumor reported by the BBC on Friday morning is that Mark Webber, following his outbursts in the media 24 hours ago, could leave Red Bull after next Sunday's Abu Dhabi finale whether he is crowned world champion or not.
Team boss Christian Horner said during the practice session that he had been "surprised" with the Australian's comments on Thursday.
"He needs to get down and focus on the job," added the Briton.
Webber, 34, has already agreed a contract to race with Red Bull next year, but has admitted he would like to retire whilst at the top.
Meanwhile, championship leader Fernando Alonso – who was just 13th fastest in the opening session – pulled over with an apparently blown engine at Interlagos.
But the unit in the Spaniard's F60 was at the end of its life, and Ferrari confirmed before the failure that an engine change before the afternoon session was already planned.
"The (engine) situation is going according to plan," said the Italian team.