In a statement released this evening, DRB-Hicom announced the appointment of Mohd Aslam Bin Farikullah as Lotus’ new Chief Operating Officer (COO), at the same time as they confirmed the termination of Dany Bahar as Group Lotus CEO.
It comes as no surprise to hear that Dany Bahar’s suspension from his role as Lotus CEO, has now been confirmed as a full termination.
I use the word suspended, even though that’s not a term one would normally use when a CEO is removed from his post, however during the past few hours that’s the phrase which has been used when I spoke to those people close to the matter.
Do you care about the truth? Do you care about the survival of a company whose engineering innovation has fundamentally influenced the cars we drive today? Do you really care? Or is Lotus just another target to parody and poke fun at for our own amusement?
The trouble with journalism and news reporting is that most of the writers pass comment on things which they invariably have little or no personal experience of. Some are able to separate their egos or ambitions from the subject and present a balanced view, but all too often a writer can become drunk on the power they have to influence other people’s opinions.
Questions have been raised during the past 24 hours over the handling of Lotus’ future by new owners DRB-HICOM and in particular the role played by Lotus current CEO Dany Bahar in securing the jobs of its Hethel employees.
We spoke with Lotus this afternoon and you can read their responses below. There are still a number of questions outstanding, which we will update in this article when we hear back from them tomorrow.
Anybody following the ongoing story of the cataclysm wrenching at the relationships between Group Lotus, its adoptive parent Proton, and Lotus F1 Team will be used to reading opinions so wide and varied that even the most extreme soap-opera storyline might seem tame in comparison.
We can argue over the semantics of the latest twist in the fate of Lotus in Formula One, but it can no longer be said that Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean are driving for Lotus.
Caterham F1 Team has announced this morning that Vitaly Petrov has joined the team as race driver, replacing Jarno Trulli with immediate effect.
Yesterday, Lotus Renault GP confirmed Romain Grosjean as its 2nd driver for 2012 alongside Kimi Raikkonen, displacing the team’s 2011 drivers Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov.
In a statement shortly after, team boss Eric Boullier confirmed Petrov’s contract had been terminated and that he would not be in line for the team’s test and reserve driver role (presumably linked to his recent outbursts against the team).
In an interview distributed by the company this afternoon, Ex-F1 driver and Lotus ambassador, Jean Alesi, shares his views on Kimi Raikkonen’s return to Forumla One driving for Lotus Renault GP.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for Lotus Renault GP’s long list of talented drivers, all carefully positioning themselves for the two available race seats in 2012 – then along comes the IceMan, performs the undercut and takes the chequered flag, before any of them has time to pick up the phone to team-boss Monsieur Boullier and cry “Foul!”
The press release begins, “Lotus Renault GP is pleased to announce that Kimi Räikkönen will race for the team next season.”, but we’re pretty sure than sentiment doesn’t extend to existing drivers Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna, nor test and reserve driver Romain Grosjean.