Abiteboul gets Caterham role

  • Last Updated: November 8 2012, 15:09 GMT

Cyril Abiteboul has been charged with the task of taking Caterham "to the top table of Formula One" after being appointed the new team principal with immediate effect.

Tony Fernandes: Has decided to stand down

Abiteboul only joined the Leafield-based marque in September as CEO, but in light of Tony Fernandes deciding this week to stand aside as team boss, will also take on that additional responsibility.

Fernandes, owner of budget airline AirAsia and chairman of Barclays Premier League club QPR, announced on Tuesday he and deputy Kamarudin Meranun would be stepping down in order to concentrate on Caterham's road car division and their other business interests.

After three years at the helm, Fernandes decided he had taken the team to a point where it now required someone with F1 expertise to move it forward, with Abiteboul seen as that figure.

Appreciably honoured to take up the post at Caterham, who are yet to score a point in their three seasons in F1, Abiteboul said: "We have big challenges ahead of us.

"But the shareholders are committed and behind us to help us take significant steps forward over the coming years, and one day challenge for the highest honours in F1.

"We have an incredible spirit within the team and that has been created by Tony and Kamarudin.

"This spirit, allied to a strategic vision that gives us a clear path to success, is what will keep driving us forward.

"We all look forward to the day we can make the dreams our shareholders had several years ago come true."

Fernandes feels he and Meranun have achieved the goal of establishing Caterham in F1, despite a lack of success, so is now in a position to take "a step back from the day to day running of the team".

Fernandes added: "Cyril is going to be an excellent team principal.

"He has extensive experience in F1, is extremely well respected and he shares our vision for what we want our team to achieve.

"He takes over during a season when we have not yet fulfilled our potential, but at a time when we have everything in place to help us do so.

"One day we will earn our seat at the top table of Formula One and he is the right person to take us there."

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