Group Lotus eyes bigger Renault slice in future
(GMM) CEO Dany Bahar has indicated Group Lotus might eventually buy more of the Renault F1 team.
Lotus has bought into the Enstone based team's majority owner Genii Capital, and reports on Thursday suggested the deal might become a complete takeover within time.
In an interview with London's Telegraph, Bahar was coy: "Yes, it is interesting to talk about control and shares and all that, but for us as a car manufacturer the bigger picture is far, far more relevant than just F1."
Genii's Gerard Lopez is also not disclosing much.
"It's funny because the same question was asked of us a year ago when we bought the majority shareholding in Renault F1. It's not the kind of thing that we will be disclosing," he insisted.
But Bahar indicated that taking control of the team now is not the plan.
"We are busy delivering ... targets rather than taking another hassle on," he said, referring to controlling an F1 team. "We are very, very aware that F1 is an evolving adventure. It can change in the future.
"Let's concentrate on today and tomorrow let's see what happens," added the former Red Bull and Ferrari manager.
A more immediate matter is the identity of Robert Kubica's teammate for 2011, with Vitaly Petrov in pole position due to Group Lotus owner Proton's eagerness to leverage Genii's access to the Russian market.
But in the image of the black and gold R30 distributed to the media on Wednesday, the branding of the Russian carmaker Lada was not featured.
"Petrov is still our favorite choice," Lopez admitted. "We were supposed to meet last week but he had eye surgery in Germany and had to go back home for two weeks until his eyes have recovered. And then he will be sitting down ... and discussing that."
Bahar admitted that Lotus is keen on Petrov.
"We would prefer to have the driver lineup the same as it is today and I hope that the team will be able to finalize it soon," he said.