Caterham F1 team sold


Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Austrian Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Spielberg, Austria

The Caterham road car division may be going from strength to strength, recently launching a brace of new models, but the Formula One team bearing the same name is currently the slowest in the sport. Now its millionaire owner has had enough and is getting shot of it.

Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes announced the sale of the struggling F1 team yesterday. Ownership will now pass to a consortium of Swiss and Arab businessmen for a free that was not disclosed.

The news casts a shadow of uncertainty over the future of Caterham's numerous team members. What is known is that Colin Kolles, the Romanian former boss of the HRT, Spyker and Force India teams will act as a consultant, though there are big changes to the rest of the crew's leadership.

Cyril Abiteboul leaves his role as team principal to be replaced by former Dutch F1 driver Christijan Albers, who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the team.

No mention was made of potential redundancies, though it was confirmed that the team will continue to use the Caterham F1 name and will remain headquartered in Leafield, Oxfordshire.

The Telegraph reports the new backers would "ensure the team has the necessary resources to develop and grow," to achieve Albers' target of finishing 10th in the constructors' championship.

While no conformation has been made of the price paid for the team, Fernandes, who also owns the Queens Park Rangers football club, was originally looking for around £350million. However, it has been estimated that he actually only received a fraction of that.

Caterham's sale is unlikely to come as a surprise for many, as Fernandes has previously hinted at washing his hands of the team, which has failed to score a single point despite five years in the sport.