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GP Week : Issue 226
The Red Bull Renault relationship looks almost certain to end in divorce as the Milton Keynes squad looks to exit its contract a year early. The relationship between the two parties has been strained for some time, with senior Red Bull staff openly criticising the French manufacturer's lack of progress. According to the team, Renault's failure with the current spec engine has seen it slip from world championship contenders to be just the fourth best team in Formula 1. Things are believed to have come to a head following the Hungarian Grand Prix when Red Bull wrote to Renault requesting early termination of its current contract - which runs until the end of 2016 It's understood Renault responded in the leadup to the Belgian Grand Prix refusing the request. However it seems only a matter of time before the split is formally confirmed, as a split looks to be in the best interests of both parties. Red Bull is reportedly keen on Mercedes power units from next year, though the German manufacturer has refused to enter the discussion while Red Bull is still contractually linked with Renault. Renault meanwhile has been sniffing around Lotus with a view to buying the team and returning to the sport as a constructor in its own right. By ending its relationship with Red Bull, and buying Lotus, the supply of Mercedes engines currently used by the Enstone team could simply head to Red Bull instead. Similarly, Renault would simply transfer its supply the other way, ultimately making very little impact to either Mercedes or Renault in terms of engine supply requirements. coMMandaToRe Bale Batman, or Christian Bale to his friends, is set to play Enzo Ferrari in a forthcoming movie about the rise of the sports most famous name. It's the second Ferrari flick in the works with Robert De Niro also set to play the Commandatore in another pic. faRMeRs MaRKeT Disgruntled local diary farmers threatened to disrupt the Belgian GP on Saturday by blocking access roads to the circuit. They are upset at the low price of milk across Europe, Bernie Ecclestone saving the day by organising a media call to bring attention to their plight. new TV deal foR geRMany German broadcasters RTL signed a new agreement with Formula One Management over the weekend. But while it may have television coverage rumours continue to swirl over the future of the German Grand Prix. guy ligieR dies, aged 85 Former racer and team owner Guy Ligier has died, aged 85. Ligier played international rugby for his native France before racing motorcycles and cars. He competed for Porsche and competed in 12 grands prix. He is most famous however for the team which carried his name to nine Formula 1 victories. The team was sold to Alain Prost in 1997 before closing its doors at the end of 2001. Bailiffs arrived at the lotus garage shortly after sunday's race as the team's dispute with former driver charles Pic rolls on. Pic feels aggreived, claiming that mileage promised to him as part of the testing contract he had with the Enstone team in 2014 had not been received. The dispute has been quietly rumbling on for some time before reaching boiling point in Belgium when the Frenchman obtained an order allowing bailiffs to impound equipment. According to Bernie Ecclestone, the team's cars were actually impounded at the time of the race. They were allowed to compete but bailiffs would not allow them to leave the circuit. Reports suggest the situation will be resolved today, with deputy team boss Federico Gastaldi leaving the circuit immediately after the race to return to the squad's Enstone factory. It's expected that, once financial institutions open today, a settlement will be reached that will allow the teams to remove its cars and equipment. It's the second time this season bailiffs have turned up at the paddock gates, with Sauber receiving unwelcome visitors in Australia when it was in dispute with Geido Van Der Garde. That matter was solved before the Malaysian Grand Prix with an agreement being reached in Melbourne which allowed the team to compete - though not before missing opening practice for fear of being found in contempt of court. Lotus' current ordeal is belived to largely stem from the fact the team struggled with its engines at the beginning of 2014. Once reliability concerns had been settled it then gave seat time to race drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, upsetting Pic. Bailiffs first arrived at the circuit on Thursday evening, with three senior Lotus staff remaining in the paddock beyond the 11pm curfew to protect their equipment. On Friday they were asked to explain their presence in the paddock to the stewards which elected not to count it as one of their curfew exceptions because it was the result of "extraneous circumstances." 13 GPWEEK.com // 13 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> news BrieFly lotus seeks pic resolution red Bull to split with renault?