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Ecclestone involved in Renault buyout ‘solution’

Bernie Ecclestone has admitted he was involved with the solution that means Renault is returning to F1 next year as a full works team.

The French carmaker signed a letter of intent to buy back its former Enstone based team from Lotus back in December.

But the deal stumbled over whether Renault would be granted full Mercedes and Ferrari-like ‘historic’ status in terms of bonus income payments from the Ecclestone-led commercial rights holder.

Renault, however, finally announced late on Thursday that the deal is done.

“Particular attention was paid to competing successfully with its (Renault’s) own team in a financially sound way starting in 2016,” Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said of the talks.

“Renault had two options: to come back at 100 per cent or leave.  After a detailed study, I have decided that Renault will be in formula one, starting 2016.

“The final details supplied by F1’s main stakeholders gave us the confidence to accept this new challenge,” he added.

It is believed no fewer than four meetings between Ecclestone and Groupe Renault marketing executive Jerome Stoll took place at the Abu Dhabi season finale last weekend.

Ecclestone confirmed to the German business newspaper Handelsblatt: “We came up with some solutions for them (Renault).”

The Renault statement concluded: “Work continues on finalising the terms of the acquisition of Lotus in the shortest timeframe possible.”