Renault has finalised its takeover of the Lotus F1 team and will return as a constructor in the 2016 F1 championship.

“We have the keys, so to speak” the lawyers of the French giant car company said after finalizing the deal, as reported by BBC.

This will be fantastic news for the team based in Enstone in Oxfordshire, who has won four driver’s title. Two of them were with Michael Schumacher in 1994 and 1995, when the team was operating under the name of Benetton and two with Fernando Alonso in 2005 and 2006, under the name of Renault.

Back in 2009, Renault sold their shares to the investment group Genii capital and quit as a constructor in the F1 championship. However, their involvement with the sport continued as an engine supplier.

Lotus had been running in debts for a long time and had to appear in London’s High Court, after an application was made by HMRC for putting the team into administration for unpaid bills. After multiple hearings, Renault and Lotus were asked to finalise a deal before Dec. 21, 2015 for a takeover to take place. Renault paid the team’s debts to HMRC and other owners in full thus allowing the court to dismiss all the charges against them.

The plans for the new team will be revealed in February 2016 at an event in Paris, when the team name, management structure and other details of the team will be announced. Renault is expected to compete under their own brand name, thus eliminating Lotus’s name from the F1 books once again.

With the new contract, Renault is expected to continue with F1 until 2014. Frenchman Frederic Vasseur, who presently runs the ART team in GP2 is expected to be the team principal.

Former four-time F1 world champion Alain Prost has claimed that the new team will take a minimum of 3 years to be challenging for the title once again.

"It will take a lot of time to be competitive again. It is going to be very hard. But my philosophy is that it is a new project, it's a new story and what is important is that we are going to start in a very difficult environment." Prost said, as reported by ESPN.

The driver’s line-up for the 2016 season will constitute Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer.

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