Group Lotus boss Dany Bahar has fuelled speculation that the owners of the Lotus-backed F1 team could be about to take a larger role in the automotive company.
As part of his five-year plan for taking Group Lotus into profitability, Bahar led Lotus into a sponsorship deal with Genii Capital, the majority owners of the Renault F1 team, in November 2010, with the option of buying a majority stake in the team at a later date.
However, rumours circulating today at the Japanese Grand Prix suggest that Genii Capital boss Gerard Lopez is now on the brink of taking a senior role in Group Lotus as well as investing in the organisation. It is not clear how large Lopez's involvement will be.
When asked by Autocar about rumours of a possible takeover of Group Lotus by Genii, Bahar responded: "I can only say this: When we made the announcement about our involvement in Lotus Renault GP we made it clear that this was the start of a close relationship and this journey continues."
It is not clear if the possible buy-in by Lopez is related to the naming rights row currently being fought between Group Lotus and Team Lotus.