Caterham has belatedly confirmed reports that talks about a possible merger with rival Formula 1 backmarker team Marussia took place over the winter.
In explaining the delay in Marussia being offered a 2013 commercial deal, Bernie Ecclestone dropped the bombshell about the mooted merger.
“As I understand it, the conclusion (of the merger talks) was unacceptable to our shareholders,” Marussia chief executive Graeme Lowdon said on Thursday. “So nothing happened.”
Initially, Caterham pointedly denied the existence of the merger talks, team founder Tony Fernandes insisting “no such thing” ever took place.
New team boss Cyril Abiteboul told the New Straits Times: “I’m still young and new here, but since I’ve been here I must have heard stories about mergers at least ten times.
“These talks with Marussia happened over the Christmas period and as with everything, we looked at whether it made any sense and it didn’t make sense,” he added.
“End of story.”
Meanwhile, Abiteboul and Fernandes were spotted chatting in the Sepang pitlane on Saturday morning with former team driver Heikki Kovalainen.
“Who knows what will happen in the future?” the Finn, who arrived at the Malaysian GP venue on Saturday morning in a green Ferrari road car, told British broadcaster Sky.