Caterham’s Formula 1 foray could be coming to an immediate end, if the latest media reports are to be believed.
A couple of weeks ago, team owner Tony Fernandes – who has been notably absent from the Formula 1 paddock in 2014 – denied reports that he has put the team up for sale.
“It is, however, true that the group is actively searching for additional investment as it seeks to fulfil ambitious plans to develop,” Caterham said in a statement.
And a new statement issued by Caterham confirmed that it has sold its stake in the joint Alpine sports car project to Renault.
Now, the latest report – flourishing on Twitter and put in print by Speed Week – is that Caterham’s Formula 1 project is ceasing immediately, with the green-coloured team to be absent when the 2014 calendar resumes next weekend in Austria.
Speed Week referred to “budget problems” as the main issue, adding that Caterham or Fernandes are yet to comment. The report went on to suggest that Caterham could also pull out of the second-tier motorcycle grand prix racing category Moto2, having until now fielded a team called AirAsia Caterham.
Reports regarding the troubled Formula 1 team were already doing the rounds last weekend in Canada, where it was whispered that sale talks took place with the prospective new outfit Forza Rossa, led by former HRT and Force India chief Colin Kolles.
The Fernandes owned outfit which entered the scene controversially was called Lotus Racing during its debut season in 2010, under the company name 1Malaysia Racing Team. The Lotus name was also used by the Enstone based team, which led to court proceedings.
In 2012 following the acquisition of British sportscar manufacturer Caterham Cars by Fernandes, forming the Caterham Group the outfit was rebadged as the Caterham F1 Team.
The team has been a perennial back-marker, despite boasting the likes of Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli early on in its history, and have never scored a point in Formula 1. (GMM)