The Caterham F1 Team is a Swiss-Middle Eastern owned Formula One team based in the United Kingdom racing under a Malaysian license. The Caterham brand has competed in the Formula One World Championship since 2012, following the acquisition of British sportscar manufacturer Caterham Cars by former owner and team principal Tony Fernandes, forming the Caterham Group.
On 2 July 2014 Tony Fernandes and his partners announced that they have sold the team to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors. It is currently unknown if the team will change its nationality or name due to new ownership but through Colin Kolles the Forza Rossa Racing project has come in doubt.
Fernandes's team originally entered Formula One in 2010 as Lotus Racing, using the Lotus name under licence from Group Lotus. When Proton – the parent company of Group Lotus – terminated the licence, Fernandes acquired the privately owned Team Lotus name for use in the 2011 season. As Proton began legal proceedings against the team, Fernandes acquired Caterham Cars. In November 2011, the team applied to the Formula One commission to formally change their constructor name for the 2012 season from Lotus to Caterham, while Renault changed their name to Lotus. Permission was granted before being formally ratified at a meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council. The team finished 10th in the Constructors' Championship in 2011, with three 13th place finishes (two from Trulli, one from Kovalainen).
In January 2012, it was announced that the team would be moving to the Leafield Technical Centre in Leafield, Oxfordshire, the previous headquarters of both Arrows and Super Aguri F1 teams. The Caterham CT01 is the first car the team has built to run KERS.
On 17 February, the team announced that Vitaly Petrov would replace Trulli alongside Kovalainen for the 2012 season. Mark Smith took over pitwall operations from Group CTO Mike Gascoyne starting from the Chinese Grand Prix.
The Caterham car looked slower than expected at the beginning of the season. However, Caterham quickly found pace through Kovalainen, who made it into Q2 for the Bahrain Grand Prix, eliminating Michael Schumacher in the process. At the Monaco Grand Prix, Kovalainen achieved a season's best thirteenth place, staving off McLaren's Jenson Button until the latter spun trying to overtake him. Kovalainen again made it into the second part of qualifying, in Valencia, qualifying 16th for the race, after eliminating both Toro Rossos and title contender Mark Webber with the final lap of the first session. Caterham continued their good form into the race with both Kovalainen and Petrov running well until Kovalainen collided with Toro Rosso's Jean-Éric Vergne. The incident caused a safety car, but Kovalainen recovered to finish 14th behind Petrov, who managed what was at this point the team's joint best finish in 13th. At the British Grand Prix, an engine failure on Vitaly Petrov's Caterham on his way round to the grid meant he had to return to the pits and retire the car before the race had even begun. The team then went on to secure 10th place in the Constructors' Championship, pipping Marussia at the final post, after a hard last race where Vitaly Petrov achieved a team record-breaking 11th place finish in front of Charles Pic while Kovalainen finished in 14th behind STR-Ferrari's Daniel Ricciardo.
On 23 November 2012, it was announced that Marussia driver Charles Pic signed a multi-year contract with the team and his team mate was rookie Giedo van der Garde. On 1 March 2013 the team announced that Alexander Rossi and Ma Qinghua would be its reserve drivers for the 2013 season.
On 17 April 2013 it was confirmed that the team had re-signed Heikki Kovalainen as a reserve driver (formal technical development role) in order to test their upgrades. Ma Qinghua consequently lost his reserve driver seat. At the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix, Giedo van der Garde achieved Caterham's best ever qualifying position with 14th place. Despite having a faster car than rivals Marussia, Caterham finished behind them on the Constructors' Championship finishing 11th.
On 21 January 2014 it was announced that the team would have a brand new driver line-up with Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi taking the seats. Team owner Fernandes warned team members that he would quit if results did not improve in the 2014 season. After the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix, Caterham became the record holders for the most race starts without scoring a single point, after fellow rivals Marussia scored their first points finish since entering the sport in 2010, courtesy of the 9th place finish from Jules Bianchi. After the team's restructure following its purchase by new owners, three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner André Lotterer was drafted in to make his Formula One début, replacing Kobayashi for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps; Lotterer retired early in the race.
On 25 July 2014, it was announced that over 40 former employees were taking legal action against the team for unfair dismissal, following a number of cost cuts by its new owners.
Complete Formula One results
|2012||CT01||Renault RS27-2012 2.4 V8||P||AUS||MAL||CHN||BHR||ESP||MON||CAN||EUR||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||SIN||JPN||KOR||IND||ABU||USA||BRA||0||10th|
|2013||CT03||Renault RS27-2013 2.4 V8||P||AUS||MAL||CHN||BHR||ESP||MON||CAN||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||SIN||KOR||JPN||IND||ABU||USA||BRA||0||11th|
|21||Giedo van der Garde||18||15||18||21||Ret||15||Ret||18||18||14||16||18||16||15||Ret||Ret||18||19||18|
|2014||CT05||Renault Energy F1-2014 1.6 V6 t||P||AUS||MAL||BHR||CHN||ESP||MON||CAN||AUT||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||SIN||JPN||RUS||USA||BRA||ABU||0*||11th*|
* Season in progress.
- "Christijan Albers steps down from Caterham F1 team role". Autosport. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
- "Caterhamin F1-talli myyty – tallipäällikkö vaihtuu" [Caterham F1 team sold - team principal changes]. MTV Finland (in Finnish) (MTV Internet). 2 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
- "Caterham to retain Renault engines in 2014". GPUpdate. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "Renault unveil 2014 turbo engine". Formula One World Championship Limited. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- 2013 Formula One World Champtionship entry list FIA. Retrieved 2 Dec 2012.
- "Team Lotus purchase Caterham Cars". Formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 28 April 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- "Caterham F1 Team Announcement". Caterham Group. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Noble, Jonathan (1 November 2011). "Virgin applies for name change to become Marussia". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- Cooper, Adam (3 November 2011). "Caterham, Lotus and Marussia name changes approved". Adam Cooper's F1 Blog (WordPress). Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- "2012 FIA Formula One World Championship Entry List". FIA.com (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile). 30 November 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- Elizalde, Pablo (18 January 2012). "Caterham F1 team confirms proposed move to Leafield". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- "Petrov replaces Trulli at Caterham". Sky Sports (BSkyB). 17 February 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- "Caterham delighted to regain tenth". Crash.net. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- Beer, Matt (23 November 2012). "Caterham signs Marussia's Charles Pic for 2013 Formula 1 season". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 24 November 2012.
- "Alexander Rossi and Ma Qing Hua to be Reserve Drivers". Caterham F1 (Caterham Group). 1 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- "Heikki Kovalainen rejoins Caterham as reserve driver". Autosport. 17 April 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- Beer, Matt (21 January 2014). "Caterham signs Kobayashi, Ericsson for 2014 Formula 1 season". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Caterham Sign Andre Lotterer for Belgian Grand Prix.". Caterham F1 Team (Caterham F1 Team). 20 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- Benson, Andrew (25 July 2014). "Caterham face legal action from more than 40 former staff". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 28 July 2014.
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