Jul.3 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Heads are being scratched in the F1 paddock, the day after the struggling Caterham team changed hands.
Malaysian aviation entrepreneur Tony Fernandes’ 100 per cent sale of the team was confirmed late on Wednesday, a media statement saying Caterham is now owned by “a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors”.
The statement, however, did not name the investors, and sources insist they will remain ‘in the background’ while Caterham is run now by HRT’s Colin Kolles and Manfredi Ravetto, and former Minardi driver Christijan Albers.
The veteran correspondent for the Swiss newspaper Blick, however, is concerned.
“The whole formula one paddock puzzles over these new investors,” said Roger Benoit. “In the official announcement of the team, no names were mentioned.”
Benoit is indeed not alone. Kevin Eason, the correspondent for the London newspaper The Times, said the lack of information about Caterham’s new owners “will ring alarm bells”.
He explained: “F1 insiders with long memories will remember the last time a Swiss-Arab consortium arrived in the sport.”
Eason is referring to 2009, when a group calling itself Qadbak, involving controversial figure Russell King, bought Sauber from BMW only for the deal to collapse.
“Caterham’s long-suffering staff will hope that this deal has more substance with their jobs on the line,” he wrote.