The fate of the Lotus Formula 1 team is hanging in the balance.

The risk of administration looms and even the sport's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone admits to being unsure over what will happen next.

"Apparently Renault are going to take over Lotus. Apparently,” said the 84-year-old. 

“This is what has been foreseen. Whether it will be completed, I don't know.

"If they don't complete it by Monday or put some money in soon... unless Renault come to the party, it won't happen," he added.

"It's strange that a company as large as Renault are taking such a long time to make a decision, to be honest with you," he said.

"They've been waiting for us to make a contribution to give them a reason to do something, which we've done two weeks ago. So I don't know."

It is believed that Renault want 'heritage' payments and status that would put them on a par with Mercedes as a reward for their contribution to the sport over the years.

These would be in exchange for a long-term commitment to the sport, something major car companies have been reluctant in the past to sign up to.

"They wanted the same sort of deal as Mercedes and some money. So we tried to work it out. We got a calculator and worked out what nine years would be," said Ecclestone.

"What we've done for them is not anything that we need to do, or had to, but we've done it to try and be helpful and keep Renault in Formula One.

“Our agreement is with Renault and not with Lotus."

Lotus are due back in the London High Court on Monday to face demands from the Britain's revenue and tax authority to have the team placed in administration as a result of unpaid taxes.

The British-based outfit, world champions in their previous guises of Benetton and Renault, have missed at least three monthly payments of €1.2 million each plus interest.

They also owe money to a list of other creditors and have been locked out of their hospitality unit, where staff and guests are fed, at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix for failing to pay organisers.

Their freight, including the Mercedes engines, were delivered only on Thursday after another dispute over payment.

An adjourned court hearing in London last week heard that Renault were close to completing a deal.

However, there was some scepticism voiced by HMRC lawyers that this would ensure the team's survival.