Caterham F1 is set to get new owners after Malaysian entrepreneur, Tony Fernandes, has sold his F1 team. The Leafield-based team was sold to a consortium of Swiss-based Arabs, advised by former F1 Team Principal, Colin Kolles, and will now be run by ex-F1 driver Christijan Albers. The team’s name and base will remain status quo for now.
“We are aware of the huge challenge ahead of us given the fight at the bottom end of the Championship and our target now is to aim for tenth place in the 2014 Championship. We are very committed to the future of the team and we will ensure that the team has the necessary resources to develop and grow and achieve everything it is capable of.” said Albers, who started 45 grands prix with the Minardi. He will be assisted by Manfredi Ravetto, a former member of the defunct HRT team.
Fernandes had entered the high octane world of Formula One in 2009 with the formation of Lotus Racing when he was promised a budget cap of £40 million for new teams. He also embroiled into a long and bitter battle with Lotus Group over the rights to use the iconic “Team Lotus” name. Eventually, they had changed the name to Caterham F1 in 2012 after Fernandes bought over Caterham Cars.
The team started well by becoming the best of the new teams in 2010. However, the team underperformed in recent years and relied on paid drivers whilst the team’s bill went through the roof. Fernandes gave an ultimatum before the start of the 2014 season that unless Caterham F1 team made significant progress this season then he would pull out from it. With arch rivals Marussia scoring it’s first points in Monaco while both Caterham cars finished at the bottom without points, it seems Fernandes is done with his F1 team.