A short statement from Renault said the company had signed a letter of intent “regarding the potential acquisition by Renault of a controlling stake in Lotus F1 Team” with Gravity Motorsports, an affiliate of the team’s owner Genii Capital.
“Renault Group and Gravity will work together in the coming weeks to eventually turn this initial undertaking into a definitive transaction provided all terms and conditions are met between them and other interested parties," the statement continued.
The French manufacturer has been contemplating a Formula 1 return as a full entrant as opposed to an engine supplier since its fruitful relationship with Red Bull Racing turned sour last year.
Although the contract between Red Bull and Renault has a year left to run, both parties have been negotiating for an early divorce for months. Christian Horner’s team has yet to confirm which engines it will use in 2016, but Ferrari appears the strongest possibility.