The chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, Carlos Ghosn, has been arrested in Japan over allegations of financial impropriety and is expected to be sacked from his position.
Ghosn was arrested on his arrival in Japan on Monday after an internal investigation at Nissan revealed “significant acts of misconduct”. The Japanese car manufacturer said the allegations included significantly under reporting his compensation and misusing company assets. Ghosn has yet to respond to the allegations.
As the chief executive of Renault, Ghosn oversaw the French car manufacturer’s return to Formula One as a factory team in 2016. The current head of Renault Sport Racing, Jerome Stoll, also reports directly to Ghosn in the company’s hierarchy.
Renault’s board is due to meet on Tuesday to discuss replacing Ghosn as chief executive. The French state has a 15 percent stake in Renault and the country’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, has stated that Ghosn is “no longer in a position” to lead the company.
Changes to the top of Renault’s hierarchy are unlikely to have a short-term effect on the success of its F1 team, but Ghosn had been a supporter of the F1 project. In 2016 it was Ghosn who took the decision to buy back the Lotus F1 team in Enstone and rebuild it into a factory team, saying: “Renault had two options: to come back to F1 100 percent or leave.”
It was announced last week that Stoll, who has been in his role of president of Renault Sport Racing since 2016, is due to retire at the end of this year and will be replaced by Thierry Koskas.