Albers makes sudden departure from Caterham

2014 F1 season

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Caterham team principal Christijan Albers has left the team just two months after joining it.

Albers was appointed to run the team after it was purchased by a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors in July.

In a statement released today he said: “Over the past months I have dedicated all my energy to ensure the takeover of the team would go as smoothly as possible and to achieve the best possible result for our investors, sponsors and all the people involved with Caterham F1 Team.”

“As such I worked tirelessly to reconstruct the team while, at the same time, making technical updates on the car. In doing this we created both a better foundation for the team’s future and achieved significant improvements on the speed of the car.

“Due to private reasons and in order to be able to spend more time with my family, I will resign from my position as CEO of Caterham F1 Team. I wish the team all the best in the future‎.”

Caterham’s deputy team principal Manfredi Ravetto has taken over from Albers, who he described as “an asset to the team since the moment he joined”.

“It’s been a challenging last few months, but we have moved forward together and we want to thank him for his hard work and commitment to the team,” Ravetto added. “We wish him the best for the future.”

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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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36 comments on “Albers makes sudden departure from Caterham”

  1. Beginning of the end I feel. And with this new rumour of 3 teams dropping out for 2015 (though I’ll believe it when I see it), it’s all kicking off. Interesting to also here Haas may just stop as well. All conjecture at this point but interesting if true. Could see the beginning of the 3 car teams. Personally, I’d prefer it but that’s just me.

    1. Yeah, what’s with Adam Parr’s tweet about 8 teams with several of them entering 3 cars for next year?!?? Seems bizarre and too sudden to be true…

      1. @patomilan Yeah, I can’t say I fully believe it, but then with the fact these teams have been struggling so much for money, it’s not too hard to see any truth in it.

    2. @philereid That would be good for drivers and top teams, but the beginning of the end really.. how many F1 jobs and how much infrastructure (e.g. losing F1 team bases in the UK) would disappear? Could be 500-1000.

      1. And simply adopting the Premier League money spreading would enable 12 or 13 competitive teams (no one miles clear like Mercedes, no one miles behind like the bottom 3 teams), with less emphasis on pay-drivers (read: more Frijns, less Ericsson). Not to mention the opposite of above, and another 500 staff hired for these current smaller teams.

        1. I hope my nightmare scenario of 8 teams in the 2015 Teams/Drivers line up doesn’t actually come true – if so, I’ll have to actually revise it and give a proper estimate.

          1. @fastiesty

            how many F1 jobs and how much infrastructure (e.g. losing F1 team bases in the UK) would disappear? Could be 500-1000

            Never thought of it like that before. A very good point.
            Obviously, the sharing of money would be the absolute best way to do it, and that would always be preferable, but whilst we have people like Ecclestone in charge, I can’t see it happening.

            Also, I mean that if we do see 3 teams leave, then I’m all for 3 car teams over just the remaining 8 teams running 2 cars.

          2. @philereid True, which is why the German bribery case was a missed opportunity for the FIA.

            I think the teams might even be obligated to run 3 cars – Ecclestone has a contracted ‘minimum number’ of entries, which might be somewhere from 12-18.

    3. @philereid do you recall some sources for those rumors? Also, I wonder which teams are concerned by those. Caterham would be my first bet, but then? Lotus maybe? And after that, I don’t know, really … I am quite skeptical.

  2. I hope Christijan enjoys more time with his family, which of course must be the only reason why he is leaving the team. At least that’s what it says in the release.

    1. Nice one :P

      Caterham, the team where there’s always something happening.

      I don’t expect them to be in on the grid in 2016.

    2. Yep, family reasons. We can be sure there was no disagreement, nor feeling of despair about doing something with nothing available.

  3. Caterham are going downhill as fast as a 88.72462784623788 kg rock dropped from the top of the top of the top of Mount Everest

    1. Terminal Velocity?

    2. Max Verstappen FTW
      7th September 2014, 22:28

      you could have saved yourself a lot of effort by just calling it a 89Kg rock.. i mean it is nice that you so precisely define that the rock weighs 88.72462784623788Kg but i’d say that is a lot of numbers behind the komma ;)

      1. Two thoughts on your comment. Now that we can cut and paste numbers simply from calculation apps to discussion apps the number of numbers isn’t an increase in effort.

        For those of us who suffered under the restrictions of the display of the TI-35 it is liberating to splash around digits greater than 8places.

      2. You’re correct, I should have made less accurate. The new calculation is:
        88.72462784623789 ±0.00000000000001

    3. @mashiat

      I had a good giggle at that comment but now i’m confused, !

      Did you actually seek out a rock weighing 88.72462784623788 kg or did you weigh the random rock at the top?

      or is 88.72462784623788 kg the weight of Caterhams debt in $$$ bills ?

      More Coffee Please !!!!!!!

      1. Sorry for not showing my work. I took the information given and made a list.
        The rock has a mass of 88.72462784623788kg
        It would fall from the top of Mt Everest which is 8848m
        The acceleration due to gravity is 9.806m per second per second
        The density of air would vary from the top of the mountain to sea level but the terminal velocity would be the same at sea level as the rock would decelerate in the thicker air so we can use the value of 1.2754 kg/m^3
        The rock could be calcium, silicon or iron. Regardless it would be about the size of a space hopper and have a projected area of about 1.74 sq/ft

        At this point I realised Mashiat might have been joking and was just saying Caterham have reached the maximum downward speed they can, terminal velocity.

        1. I wasn’t joking, I tried that experiment and and sad to say that it had tragic results…resulting in the death of an old man weighing exactly 67.467358240718337245734kg ±0.000000000000000000003.

          P.S. I died in the process, BUT I LIVED. Don’t know what it means? Well don’t ask me cuz I don’t either.

  4. Ted Kravitz was saying on Sky that Albers is frustrated/angry that he’s trying to figure out how to organize the team going forward when the funding he keeps been promised isn’t showing up which is holding up key decisions he wants to make for 2015.

    1. sounds legit – family reasons

  5. Bye Caterham. And it won’t be missed.

    1. @edmarques

      Strange attitude. Do you not realise the erosion of teams from F1, regardless of their level of operation, is one team less to make it viable?

      All qualified entrants to F1 are to be applauded and encouraged.

      1. Just look at what they are doing this season.
        I won’t miss them. The team has ended when Fernades sold it.
        I really like the small teams, but this one, the way ther are working, won’t be missed.

      2. At this point Caterham turned Kobayashi’s car into a hooker.

      3. Unfortunately I have to agree with Ed – granted getting more teams into formula one does seem like the best way to go, when we have 3 new team enter and make little or no impact on the sport beside get in the way of front runners and lurching from one financial crisis to another its team to think again.

        Of the 3 new teams one went bankrupt and the other 2 have both changed names and to some extent or other ownership. Caterham had the best chance to succeed with Renault and Red Bull parts yet even they ended up putting paid drivers like Ericsson in the car because he brought the team money (he was even out qualified by a guy who just jumped into the car in Spa). Most teams who have gone for paid drivers for a source of income seems to be suffering.

        Granted the FIA tried to expand the number of teams by telling them all they could race on a sensible budget without getting anything in place to ensure a sensible budget but things change in F1 very quickly if the teams can’t keep up we needs something new I don’t see the point in having teams in the sport that you know for almost a given will come last in both qualifing and the race unless a miracle happens.

  6. Due to private reasons and in order to be able to spend more time with my family, I will resign from my position as CEO of Caterham F1 Team.

    That, combined with how sudden his departure has been, is really worrying. I know his wife has been suffering from esophageal cancer, but I really hope that’s not the reason for Albers’ departure.

    1. @Andrea23 didn’t know that, it might have decided his choice, but see above what @stefmeister says about promised money from investors not showing up.

      Wish Albers all the best with family though.

      1. Argh autocorrect @andae23

      2. @bosyber Yeah, I know that Ted ‘The All-Knowing’ Kravitz had a different theory, but I thought the way the statement was phrased was a little odd. If it’s purely down to money, then why would they mention ‘private reasons’ and ‘spending more time with his family’?

        But anyway, I sure hope Kravitz is right.

        1. Hm, “private reasons” or “family reasons” is frequently used instead of “being fired for incompetence/big disagreements/displacing company funds/etc. so I thought that would be the reason too @andea23.
          But with the cancer thing, it actually makes me think this could very well be genuinely for family reasons, after all the circus is not going to be home from now on more or less until the end of the year and I think that would be really tough to support his wife.

  7. Caterham is in a mess, they brought in Kobayashi for one reason, to beat Jules Bianchi. He did that today and has done it many times previously and they are selling his seat, they must be so interested in money in order for the team to survive they are willing to give up on trying to beat their rivals.

  8. The Airbus/GE ‘proxy sponsors’ have gone. These were partners of Air Asia rather than ‘real’ sponsors so maybe there hasn’t really been a loss, just no more handouts from the pockets of Mr Fernandez.

    Maybe Branson was a much shrewder man getting out early on once the lay of the land was clear.

  9. I’ve been a fan of these guys since the first day but their chronic lack of leadership and maturity will always preclude reaching some level of success beyond their initial best of the new teams. Losing Gascoyne was the beginning of the end for them.

    As for the current situation, will Kolles crater another team? Kamui is in a tough spot for sure. I wonder if they’ll even see the end of the season before the hammer falls in bankruptcy court.

  10. I hope Caterham can still pull it together. I like Kobayashi, and with the new nose, it’s one of the best-looking cars on the grid IMO.

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