|© AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic
Beleaguered with over four and a half years of no success despite bleeding millions every season, Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes has sold his Caterham Formula One team to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors and washed his hands from the sport.
Having launched the team in 2010 as Lotus, Fernandes changed the name to Caterham in 2012 after a bitter dispute with the Enstone-based outfit which carried the same name.
Caterham, in its two guises, remains the only team on the current that hasn’t scored a point in F1, and this year has been beaten consistently by immediate rivals Marussia, which scored its first points at the Monaco Grand Prix.
The sale of the team was advised by Colin Kolles, who previously worked with HRT as team principal, and will remain with the squad in an advisory role.
Under the terms of the sale, the team will continue to race as Caterham and will remain based at Leafield for the foreseeable future. The new ownership takes charge with immediate effect.
EX-F1 DRIVER IS NEW TEAM PRINCIPAL
|© AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth
Former Dutch F1 driver Christijan Albers was named as the new team principal with Cyril Abiteboul leaving the team to pursue new challenges, believed to be back at Renault.
"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,” Albers said. “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.”
Albers raced in F1 from 2005 to 2007 with Minardi, Midland and Spyker and scored his only points in the controversial United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis in 2005.