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MOTORSPORT: Carter's delighted with Renault deal
12:00pm Wednesday 26th February 2014 in Sport
Lotus chief executive Matthew Carter says the Enstone-based team can go from strength to strength after signing a new contract to continue with Renault engines in Formula 1 for the next five years.
The announcement was timed to coincide with the first public appearance of the their car at the second pre-season test, after missing the first test in Spain.
The two parties said they had signed a deal for 2014 and beyond.
But it is understood the contract lasts until 2018, which underlines both parties’ commitment to Formula 1 despite Lotus’s recent cash-flow problems.
The team finished fourth in the constructors’ championship last year, but lead driver Kimi Raikkonen quit the team with two races still to go because he had not been paid.
Lotus have this year replaced the Finn, who has moved to Ferrari, with Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, who brings with him about £30m of annual sponsorship from his country's national oil company.
Lotus are owned by the investment group Genii Capital, which re-named the team after buying it from Renault at the end of 2009.
The team, as Renault, won the 2005 and 2006 world titles with Fernando Alonso.
Carter added: “Lotus F1 team and Renault Sport F1 have enjoyed a successful partnership these past few years and we look forward to continue to build on our relationship and collaboration in 2014 and beyond.
“It is the beginning of a new era in Formula 1 and we are pleased to embrace it together with Renault Sport F1.”
Renault have had a troubled start to its pre-season programme, but engineering chief Remi Taffin said he was confident that by the end of the final test later this month, they will have a specification they are happy with ahead of the season opener, the Australian Grand Prix in Melbo-urne on March 16.