Caterham to continue racing as sale is confirmed

2014 F1 season

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Caterham will continue to compete in Formula One following the confirmation of its sale by Tony Fernandes.

A consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors has purchased the team, advised by former Colin Kolles. The former team principal’s most recently involvement in F1 was with HRT in 2012. He previously ran the Jordan team during its final season, and several of its successors.

Cyril Abiteboul, who has been in charge of the team since November 2012, has stepped down from his position. Ex-F1 driver Christijan Albers will run the team on a day-to-day basis.

Albers said the team’s target is to move up from last in the championship at present to tenth place before the end of the season.

“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,” he said.

Caterham entered Formula One in 2010 when the team used the Lotus name. However rival team Renault also claimed the right to use the name, and the dispute was taken to the High Court. Although the court ruled in favour of Fernandes, in 2012 he rebranded his team as Caterham, leaving Renault to take over the Lotus name.

The team used Cosworth engines in its first season before switching to Renault power the following year. They were the most successful of the new teams that entered the sport in 2010, a feat they repeated in the next two seasons, but in 2013 they were beaten by Marussia (formerly Virgin).

Caterham are yet to score a point in the 86 races they have participated in under both their identities since 2010. They earned their highest finish to date in this year’s Monaco Grand Prix, where Marcus Ericsson finished 11th.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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48 comments on “Caterham to continue racing as sale is confirmed”

  1. Well, that’s that sorted. Fernandes is right now. The team isn’t for sale, it’s been sold!

  2. What drew my attetion the most was that team principal will be Christian Albers – former F1 driver. When was the last time F1 driver was team principal? I think that’s good, because he knows all internal aspects, related to F1 and should be a proper man to lead an F1 team and should inject some racing spirit, which this team was losing in recent years.

    1. Aguri Suzuki was in charge of Super Aguri a few years ago. Luis Perez Sala was in charge at HRT in 2012

    2. Not a F1 driver, but Christian Horner raced in F3000 (now GP2) until 1999, I think. Then yes, Luis Perez-Sala, Aguri Suzuki, Alain Prost and Jackie Stewart are the most recent. Plus Niki Lauda as Jaguar’s team principal (not owner).

      1. And Berger for STR….

    3. What about Niki Lauda? Also Toto Wolff raced in formula ford and also the 24 hours of nurburgring I believe, I think actually the question should be which team principles have not raced or had previous motorsport experience.

  3. Another bad result for another dog of a team!! And its not their fault!! (and not being disrespectful at all!!)

    The guys and girls at Caterham try as hard as any team on the grid but they don’t have two things- expertise like the top teams (not to say they don’t have great people, but top to bottom they don’t) and MONEY!!

    Most forget after RBR won 4 in a row (AND ALL NON RBR FANS HATE THEM :)) they are relatively new to the sport and have been quite exceptional. Its been quite a play.

    But the lower teams don’t stand a chance and there is only so much the F1 fan billionaire will throw in before he knows he cant win- and that’s a shame!

    I have laughed (not in a Seinfield way) when BE talks of late- but maybe the big teams that have cash run three cars not so silly??

    1. @garns Three-car teams will kill the midfield. Not so much in terms of costs, but results. The current big four (Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari) will secure 9 of the top 10 places already. It leaves crumbs for the rest.

      1. @journeyer Would you get more enjoyment watching:

        1. The heated battle between Nico and Lewis?


        2. The heated battle between Nico, Lewis, and a third Mercedes driver?

        I love underdog stories, however I’d rather closer racing between the big manufactures Rather than dispersed racing amongst lots of teams.

        Yep. I know the opposing argument, money money money. meh.

        1. @prof-kirk To be honest, I’d much more enjoy a battle between Hamilton, Vettel, and Alonso in 3 different cars. Much more variety that way. :)

          1. @journeyer seeing Ham, Vet and Alonso on equal terms in three entirely different cars battle neck and neck is the dream aint it, I watch every race for this moment

    2. I wouldn’t say that RBR is fairly new to the sport (in terms of McLaren, Ferrari, Sauber & Williams yes but in terms of the other “new” teams like Caterham no. By the time what is currently known as RBR had won their first championship they had already been a team for 13 years and they are currently in their 17th year of operation.

      Remember RBR wasn’t a newly created team it was just a rebrand/sale of the Jaguar which was Stewart team.

  4. Caterham really needs a miracle to get any better. It is hard to comment on the drivers because the car is so insanely slow that it hides all skill the driver could have but they need not just better car but better development. On typical season they start nowhere and end the season nowhere. At least they are not getting lapped twice per race in EVERY race.

    I hope this is not yet another shoe string project for kolles but a real effort to get into the middle pack with more money and more resources. The driver choises for 2015 will probably tell the real truth. If they get pay drivers it is a green hrt all over again.

  5. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    2nd July 2014, 15:25

    I thought Kolles was entering with Forza Rossa?

    1. @collettdumbletonhall Leads you to wonder if that’s now not happening, or if the two are going to be merged. Not that it would be unprecedented for one person to be involved with two teams (as Toto Wolff is at the moment).

      1. I do feel sorry for Fernandes. It’s easy enough to criticize him for being over-ambitious and under-estimating the challenge, but, as others have said, when he entered F1 he expected dramatic cost cuts. That didn’t happen, and is unlikely to ever happen as long as the idiotic F1 Strategy Group exists. That being considered, I think it’s fair to say that you’d need to be insane to want to enter an F1 team as this point in time. For that, I have nothing but admiration for Kolles, even though there’s something about him which reminds me of the idiom ‘sinking ship’…

        Above all, I’m just relieved that we’ll still have 22 cars this weekend.

        1. Eh? That was meant to be a seperate comment, not a reply to anything. Don’t know what happened there…

      2. When they announced Caterham was on sale, I immediately suspected that the 2015 entry for Forza Rossa could only be made with existing infrastructures. Furthermore, with a Renault engine…

      3. It would certainly make more sense to continue with somethings already in place than starting from scratch, so if they go this route instead of establishing a new team, that is a good result IMO

      4. Or maybe Kolles being occupied with the Romanian bid thing is the reason why its Albers leading the team with Colin only in an advisory role.

  6. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
    2nd July 2014, 15:27

    Well, I’m glad that the future of ‘Caterham’ is secured, although I am a little bit disheartened to see that Colin Kolles is back in the sport once again.

    I hope that the team are now able to make the progress that is needed to finally shift from the back of the field.

  7. So will the team change its name or whatever?
    Oh and what happens to Forzza Rossa?

    1. Forza Verde.

      1. @bullfrog: Excellent! +1

  8. I think the 3 new teams that entered in 2010 were in for a big struggle the second the rules they entered under were changed in late 2009, That been the budget cap.

    Its easy to forget about that, When Lotus, Manor & Campos Meta F1 (As they were in 2009) won there entrys they had entered under the budget cap so were expecting to not have to spend more than the $40m a year the cap allowed.
    Then as the established team complained about the cap & Max Mosley stepped aside as part of the agreement to get those teams signed upto F1 the budget cap was dropped & the 3 new teams suddenly found themselfs requiring far more budget than they at first thought.

    But even then they were promised big budget cuts & have been constantly promised thats budgets will be cut significantly ever since yet every time the biggest teams block these cuts & with the FIA seemingly unable to really force teams to spend less the costs have remained fairly static & gone up this year.

    I’ve always got the feeling that Tony Fernandez was interested in the F1 he signed up for, An F1 either budget capped or with spending reduced so that the smallest teams had a chance to compete & not be ruthlessly outspent by a few hundred million dollars a year. When the cap died & as spending has not been brought down as promised I think Tony Fernandez has just lost interest in trying to throwing money at something that realistically has no chance of moving that far forward as long as they can be outspent by the amount they are been.

    1. I think you are right that the thing that finally turned Tony off F1 was the open ended budget thing and no real change foreseen for the future. After all he is a businessman and its hard to see any ROI larger than infinitely small without a cap on spending.

    2. F1 tastes on a GP2 budget ?

  9. Is this the same Colin Kolles that attempted to blackmail and extort money out of Toto Wolff?? … [sarcasm] Nice fellow [/sarcasm].

    The only good thing about Caterham is Kamui Kobayashi even though he’s been pretty invisible in such a terrible car.

    Let’s hope the first thing they do is switch engine suppliers from Renault at least they then won’t have the worst engine and worst car combo….

  10. Marcus out, Frijns in.

    1. Maybe so, but Kamui maybe ends up in a another team and Marcus could stay :3 i want him to stay atleast one more season. i want every rookie to atleast have 2 seasons, 1 for learning and if you mess up the second your out :) but i would like to se frijns in too :)

    2. BJ (@beejis60)
      2nd July 2014, 17:38

      Yes, please yes.

    3. Kobayashi out, Ericson is ahead of him (11th in Monaco, just barely not scoring points for Caterham. Actually, Kobayashi is 22nd, even Chilton is ahead of him.

      1. But there’s no doubting that at the moment, Chilton, Gutierrez and Ericsson are the weakest drivers in F1 at the moment, and only Ericsson is a rookie.

    4. Friendly reminder Christiaan Albers was sacked by Spyker for not bringing enough sponsorship. What does Frijns lack? Sponsorship.

      Maybe Frijns will get more running, but I sincerely think Albers has learned the value of money over nationality.

  11. I’m would avoid anything that has connections with Colin Kolles and Mike Gascoyne….

  12. Ex-F1 driver Christijan Albers will run the team on a day-to-day basis.

    I think the new motto of the team will be “Maximum Attack” ;-)

    Seriously though, why isn’t Kolles stepping up right away?

    1. No, no, ‘meximum uhtekk’. ;)

  13. With Kolles in charge at Caterham, failure is assured. Remember HRT?

  14. Colin Kolles seems to have a habit of taking over barely surviving teams and then completely destroying them. I very much doubt this team will be running in 2016.

  15. @keithcollantine

    by former Colin Kolles

    So has he changed his name now :)?

    The former team principal’s most recently involvement in F1 was with HRT in 2012


    1. back to the original heh

    2. @davidnotcoulthard

      by former Colin Kolles

      Maybe he has changed his name to Lotus?

  16. …Anyway, is it Quantum again?

  17. --- (@brazil2007)
    2nd July 2014, 18:35

    Caterham can, at the very least, take solace in the fact that both Albers and Kolles have tonnes of experience with backmarker teams.

  18. I very much doubt they’ll get off the back of the grid by the end of the season. Its like trying to turn an oil tanker, you have to start miles before the port. Barring some high-attrition races they’ll be pootling at the back this year and next most likely.

    They need to see some of that gulf oil money diverted from ISIS to caterham, stat!

  19. Which national anthem will they need to have ready at Silverstone for when Caterham win a race?
    Still Malaysian?

    1. “For when caterham win a race”……

      Hahahahaha!! Good one!

  20. I’m surprised that people pan Kolles so much and idolize Fernandes. The latter also achieved nothing with his team (or any other sport-related venture for that matter), unless of course we treat big promises, ridiculous Lotus naming row and PR-stunts as actual achievements. People who talk a lot usually don’t do much. Not that I expect anything special from the new owner’s nominee Colin Kolles, I’m afraid he will lead Caterham to it’s bitter end, but I certainly won’t forget who failed miserably with Caterham from the very beginning and should be held responsible for the current state of affairs.

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