His recent tweet last Friday, stating that “F1 hasn’t worked, but love Caterham Cars,” was the biggest clue to the fact that his relationship with Formula One was soon to come to an end. This finally became official this afternoon with immediate effect.
Fernandes has now closed down his Twitter account, and will continue concentrate on his commitments on the road car aspect of the business, as well as his directorial role at Air Asia and Queens Park Rangers.
The Malaysian had already stated earlier this season that he would look to move on, if no real progress had been made this year. His departure is after a hefty investment over the past four years with no points scored.
The fact that Marussia’s Jules Bianchi scored two points at Monaco could have been the catalyst for Fernandez to eventually make his decision final.
The name Caterham will remain in Formula One, but now receives a change of management, as Colin Kolles will now work with the team in an advisory capacity. Dutch ex-F1 driver Christijan Albers now takes over as Team Prinicpal, and will oversee the day-to-day running of the operation. The pair had already worked together in the sport when Force India was under its former guises of Midland and Spyker, as well as in the WEC with the Lotus LMP1 project.
The acquisition of the team has been funded through Swiss and Middle Eastern investors. The change in management means that former Team Prinicpal Cyril Abiteboul leaves with immediate effect. The Frenchman, who joined Caterham in September 2012 as Team Principal, has been rumoured to make a return to Renault Sport where he worked beforehand.
Now the news has been made official, Albers, who will be assisted by ex-Jordan, Force India and HRT alumni Manfredi Ravetto, made the following statement: “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. 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.”
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