While rumors swirled over the last several weeks, it was announced today that Caterham F1 have been sold. The team said:
Caterham F1 Team is pleased to confirm that Tony Fernandes and his partners have sold the team to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors, advised by former F1 Team Principal Colin Kolles.
Under the terms of the sale, the team will continue to race as Caterham F1 Team and will remain based at Leafield for the foreseeable future.
The new ownership takes charge with immediate effect. Former Dutch F1 driver, Christijan Albers, assisted by Manfredi Ravetto, will take over the day-to-day running of the team, reporting directly to the board and replacing Cyril Abiteboul who will leave the team to pursue new challenges.
“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.”
Cyril Abiteboul has departed the team with immediate effect and some reports have him returning to Renault Sport but there is no official word from his camp.
This does raise a question about the Forza Rossa team and its plans to enter F1. The FIA released a statement, when approving Haas Formula, that another team was being considered and this team was to be ran by Colin Kolles. Kolles, a qualified dentist, has managed many teams including Midland, Spyker, HRT and Force India but Forza Rossa was/is to be a program he was/is heavily involved in.
Is Kolles running Caterham or Forza Rossa or both? The Forza Rossa effort was being led by former Romanian health minister Ion Bazac but the new Caterham ownership group seems to be of Swiss and Middle Eastern origin so one could presume this has nothing to do with Forza Rossa from an ownership perspective.