Hot on the heals of strong rumors that the Renault group are to buy out struggling Enstone outfit Lotus Mercedes, Technical Direct Nick Chester admits lack of funds played a big part in the lack of development during 2015. When asked how development in 2015 has been compared to previous efforts, Chester elaborated that, "It has felt a lot more restrictive. In a normal year we'd bring quite a few major upgrades whereas this year we brought fewer and more minor developments. This means that we had to be more selective in what we brought and we have been a bit more creative in the more minor upgrades. We made a good basic car that handled well and with which the drivers could extract the maximum from. "Unfortunately we have not been able to put developments on it due to finances; we could have gone a lot further with it otherwise and that would have been very interesting to see." However, there is light at the end of the tunnel with growing certainty that an announcement of the sale of the team to Renault is imminent. Lotus' chief executive Matthew Carter and chairman Gerard Lopez (whose Genii Capital group has a controlling stake in the team) have expressed their confidence in recently that a contract is now in place with Renault reportedly having signed a 'letter of intent' with the team. Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Lopez was in bullish mood telling the broadcaster "I think we are pretty much there with Renault, I understand that Renault still have some things they need to clear with Formula 1 and FOM, but as far as we are concerned we are pretty much at a deal now." Finland's Ilta Sanomat newspaper also reports that former technical director Mike Gascoyne - most recently in F1 with Caterham - could also be in the frame for a role with the re-badged outfit. Currently working in the yacht racing industry, Gascoigne remains involved with motor racing via his consultancy business and is thought to be interested in a return to the premier race series in the world. With Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer signed to race with the team next year and some Renault staff already in place at Enstone it seems like future stability is finally coming to this once great team, only time will tell if its enough to return the squad to winning ways.