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Fernandes quits Caterham F1

2012-11-07 08:23

THAT'S IT FOR NOW: Caterham team principal Tony Fernandes has decided it's time to step down and let someone else lead the F1 team.

ALAN BALDWIN

LONDON - Malaysian aviation entrepreneur Tony Fernandes is planning to step down as principal of the Caterham Formula 1 team in 2012 and has already identified a successor from within the sport.

The AirAsia airline boss, who announced a deal between Caterham and Renault on Monday, November 5, 2012, that will revive the Alpine sportscar brand, told Autosport and Autocar magazines that he would now hand over his F1 duties.

MOVING FORWARD

Fernandes said: "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. 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."

Fernandes came into F1 as a principal in 2010 with Lotus Racing, subsequently renamed Team Lotus and then Caterham from this season. He said at the time that he did not intend to stay long-term at the helm.

The team, one of three newcomers that year, have yet to score a point. Their current drivers are Finland's Heikki Kovalainen and Russian Vitaly Petrov.

TWO RACES LEFT

Caterham finished 10th overall for the past two seasons but has been overtaken by Marussia in the 2012 season and has just two races remaining to regain the position, which will involve getting one of the cars into 12th place or higher.

Fernandes, who also controls struggling Premier League Queens Park Rangers soccer club, has not attended many F1 races this season due to his many commitments.

Asked who would replace him at Renault-powered Caterham, he replied: "I cannot tell you their name yet. All I can say is that they are from within F1."
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