After much speculation, it is now confirmed that Renault will be back in Formula 1 in 2016 as a full constructor, after buying over the Lotus F1 Team in a deal said to be worth around 111 million euros. Renault signed a letter of intent to potentially acquire the Lotus team in September.

It was reported that the final handshake was made at last weekend’s Abu Dhabi GP, when F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone met with Renault Sport president Jerome Stoll, after much financial wrangling.

“Renault had two options: to come back at 100% or leave. After a detailed study, I have decided that Renault will be in Formula 1, starting 2016. The final details supplied by F1’s main stakeholders gave us the confidence to accept this new challenge. Our ambition is to win – even if it will take some time,” announced Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn.

After leaving F1 as a constructor in 2011, Renault has remained in the sport as an engine supplier, most notably powering Red Bull to multiple titles. But the French carmaker admits that the payback as an engine supplier has been “limited”, and that “the return on investment necessitatated by the new engine regulations and the return in terms of image were low.”

Renault back in F1

The firm added that its return to F1 “is confirmation that it sees motorsport as an essential part of the brand’s identity. Formula 1 is the ultimate symbol of the passion for automobiles.”

To race on Sunday, one needs to sell on Monday. And Renault is planning to showcase future road car tech via F1. “It simultaneously allows Renault to build bridges between the advanced technologies seen in the world championship and its road cars, particularly in the fields of electric and hybrid vehicles,” it said. Renault and Alliance partner Nissan are today’s leaders in EVs.

Renault’s return to its former F1 base in Enstone will also benefit the Renault Sport division, with a promise that the sub-brand will be “active on every continent and in even more segments with vehicles that meet the needs of their different markets.” Here’s hoping that the hot hatch specialist will continue to flourish.

It is said that Renault has committed itself to Formula 1 for nine years till 2024. More details will be released in January. Welcome back, Renault!