Officially, no party is willing to confirm the increasingly-widespread speculation about Renault, the French carmaker, buying back 51 per cent of the Enstone team from Gerard Lopez.
Lopez, however, has been conspicuously absent in 2015, leaving the running of Lotus up to Matthew Carter.
Carter said at Silverstone: “I’m not sure how you missed him but he (Lopez) has certainly been to two if not three of the races this season.
“He’s busy on other projects,” Carter acknowledged, “and I think he’s probably happy with what’s going on at the moment and therefore doesn’t feel he needs to get involved.”
At an apparently crucial moment in history for F1 as the sport seeks to change direction, Carter’s comments might only make sense if Lopez has already agreed to move on permanently.
So if Lotus is taken over by Renault, it will mean the team has to breach its engine supply contract with Mercedes.
Asked about that at Silverstone, Mercedes’ Wolff said: “At the moment the (Lotus) contract runs from 2015 to 2020.
“If Renault comes in and Lotus wants to get out of the contract, we will find a solution,” the forthright Austrian is quoted by Speed Week.
“Renault staying in formula one is in everyone’s interests,” Wolff added.