LONDON: Malaysian aviation entrepreneur Tony Fernandes ended an unhappy Formula One adventure yesterday by selling his struggling Caterham team to a group of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors with former driver Christijan Albers at the helm.
The team announced in a statement ahead of Sunday’s British Grand Prix that they would continue to race as Caterham, from their existing factory at Leafield in central England, for the immediate future.
Dutch retired driver Albers, who competed in 46 grands prix with tail-end teams between 2005 and 2007, will take over the day-to-day running of the team with the assistance of Manfredi Ravetto.
Albers replaces the departing Cyril Abiteboul, who was appointed principal by Fernandes at the end of 2012 when the AirAsia boss decided to step back and focus on other business interests.
Caterham said Romanian-born Colin Kolles, who was Albers’ principal when the Dutchman drove for the Midland and Spyker teams that became Force India, has been advising the consortium.
The sale ended a costly and ultimately failed foray into motor racing for Fernandes, whose main sporting interests have increasingly become focused on his Premier League’s QPR.
Fernandes has been noticeable by his absence from racetracks this year and he heralded the end of his involvement when he closed down his Twitter account last week.REUTERS