(Jean Michel Le Meur DPPI for Renault Sport F1)
The Lotus F1 Team dismissed their social media and marketing director Stephane Samson as a result of 'gross misconduct'. Samson was let go by the Enstone based outfit in February after tweeting a picture of two men kissing with a tweet saying:
'ahead of the opening ceremony, we would like to wish all athletes a successful 2014 Olympic Winter Games.'
According to the team's lawyers, this tweet damaged the team's image and financial situation because at the time the Enstone outfit had been in discussions with potential Russian investors. It was not the first time that an issue had arisen with regards the team's Twitter account. On September 12th, 2013, the day that it was announced that Kimi Raikkonen was leaving the Lotus F1 Team to return to Ferrari a tweet from the team said:
'So Kimi is off to Ferrari for 2014; it hurts a little bit...' The tweet was accompanied with a picture of two rabbits. As a result of this tweet the team were given an official warning by the FIA. In relation to the tweet about the Sochi games, Russia is set to host it;s very first Grand Prix event later this season.
According to the Lotus F1 Team's lawyers, when Eric Boullier left the team for McLaren earlier this year, Samson had applied for the position of team principal.
When the team were asked to comment on the current situation they said that:
'There’s no comment at the moment. It’s in the hands of the lawyers.'
© Ben Johnston 2014