Fernandes plans for the future

  • Last Updated: September 22 2012, 11:21 BST

Caterham owner Tony Fernandes has dropped a broad hint he could soon relinquish his role as team principal.

Tony Fernandes: Busy man

The Leafield-based team announced on Friday that Cyril Abiteboul would be the team's chief executive officer from January 2013.

Currently deputy managing director of Renault Sport F1, Abiteboul will divide his duties between both organisations up until then.

Once at Caterham Abiteboul will then be responsible for all the team's on and off-track operations, reporting to Fernandes and Caterham Group CEO Riad Asmat.

However, as owner of airline AirAsia and Premier League club QPR, Fernandes is finding his time stretched and feels his position as team principal may have to go.

Fernandes said: "We're evolving into a little bit of an auto group with the car and technology divisions we've put together which Riad is looking at.

"I am not as involved, so the team needs leadership, and Cyril is someone I've courted for a while.

"We've finally persuaded him - with Renault's blessing - to come over to Caterham. It provides us with stability for the F1 team going forward."

Asked whether Abiteboul will become team principal, Fernandes said: "Not at the moment, no. I will still remain in that job for a while. Eventually, maybe."