Dany Bahar, the CEO who brought Lotus Cars back to F1 as a sponsor of the Lotus F1 team, has been suspended by the new owner of the parent company DRB-Hicom, it was confirmed today.
The suspension relates to Bahar’s “conduct” but no further details have been forthcoming at this stage.
Bahar came to prominence as Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz’s right hand man, with responsibility for the racing programme and marketing. He then went to Ferrari as head of brand, before joining Lotus just after they had struck a licence deal with Tony Fernandes for the 1 Malaysia team to be called Lotus. This led to a battle which was only resolved last year, with Fernandes ceding the Lotus name and Bahar bringing it to F1 first as sponsor of the team and then in 2012 as the chassis name. However the relationship between Lotus Cars and the F1 team has been downscaled recently.
Bahar had an ambitious plan to build a range of Lotus sports cars in Norfolk, funded by Proton, but now the new owner of Proton, DRB-Hicom, has suspended him,
“Group Lotus plc (“Lotus”) can today confirm that, following an operational review, chief executive Dany Bahar has been temporarily suspended from his role to facilitate an investigation into a complaint about his conduct made by Lotus’ penultimate parent company, DRB-Hicom Berhad,” a DRB Hicom statement said.
“The penultimate holding company would like to stress it is business as usual at Lotus. We fully support the company and will continue to support Lotus in its business endeavours and development.”
There has been no reaction as yet from the Lotus F1 team.
Bahar was due to be at a presentation of luxury apparel brand Lotus Originals in Monaco this evening, and was scheduled to make a speech at the event.
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