A change of ownership of the Caterham F1 team is expected to be announced in the coming days, as suggested in my recent story on the future of Red Bull and Renault’s Viry engine base.
As part of the changes current team principal Cyril Abiteboul is expected to return to Viry to help bolster Renault’s F1 operation, at the behest of Red Bull. A new management structure will be introduced at Caterham.
Any new owner would have to purchase the Malaysian company that is the ultimate owner of the team.
Tony Fernandes dropped a clear hint about a change of ownership today when in closing his Twitter account he said, “F1 hasn’t worked love Caterham Cars.”
Earlier this year Fernandes told this writer that he was considering a withdrawal from the sport.
“It’s never made commercial sense,” he said. “But I came into the sport thinking the budget was going to be capped at $40m, and it’s never come anywhere close to that. But I’ve built an industrial division around it, which has made it make a little bit more sense.
“We’ll see how it goes this year, but if it doesn’t work, Caterham’s in a good position, and maybe someone else should have a go at doing it.”
It’s believed that the new deal involves only the F1 team, and not the GP2 outfit. The identity of the purchaser is not yet known, but it is not connected to either of the new F1 projects from the USA and Romania.