Date: 8th November 2012 at 10:07am
Written by:

Tony Fernandes, team principal to Caterham F1 team, chairman of Premier League club QPR, owner of airline AirAsia and Caterham road cars.

The Malaysian entrepreneur has many strings to his bow, but running a Formula One team doesn’t appear to be one of them.

He’s been the boss of the Caterham set-up ever since the team entered F1 as one of the newbie teams in 2010.

It’s been an interesting introduction to the team, they quickly established themselves as the strongest of the three teams, but it was their battle over the naming rights of Lotus which really took the headlines rather than their performances on the track.

This season, Caterham looks set to miss out on tenth place in the Formula One constructors championship with Marussia, thanks to a 12th place finish earlier in the season to Timo Glock.

With the impact that has on the finances, Caterham have been re-evaluating their current set up. They may move into the area of two ‘pay drivers’ which would put Heikki Kovalainen’s future in doubt.

But one decision which has been made is for Fernandes to step aside as team principal and bring in someone to push the team on to the next level.

‘On the racing side we have come to the conclusion that it is better if someone else takes over the team principal role to move forward, We are definitely better at business than finding tenths of seconds around a lap. Fernandes told Autosport Magazine.

‘It was right for us to lead the team initially and set a template of how it should be. That vision is now set and the team is ready to move forward to the midfield.’

‘I know who it will be – and can tell you that today [Tuesday] as I had confirmation earlier, I cannot tell you their name yet. All I can say is that they are from within F1.’


Caterham F1 team profile

Entered Formula One as Team Lotus in 2010, making their debut at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Heikki Kovalainen secured their record best finish of 12th at the Japanese Grand Prix and the team finished 10th in the constructors championship.

In 2011 two 13th place finishes for Jarno Trulli and one for Heikki secured 10th place for a second season.

Following the acquisition of sportscar manufacturer Caterham Cars by Fernandes the team changed their named for the 2012 season following a long running legal battle with the Renault team over the Lotus name.

Heikki Kovalainen has to-date had two 13th place finishes, whilst new team-mate Vitaly Petrov has had one, the team stand 11th in the constructors standings.