Prior to the start of the 2014 Formula 1 season, Caterham boss Tony Fernandes demanded the team improve its results or he would sell up shop.
“My message to the 250 people here [at the factory] is we have to go for it this year,” he said. “This is it—the final chance. We’ve given you the best infrastructure, the best potential drivers but it is now down to all of you to go and do it.”
Well, so far season 2014 hasn’t been a great one for Caterham. The CT05 is dog ugly to begin with and the team sits at the bottom of the constructors’ table. Although, Marcus Ericsson’s P11 in Monaco last weekend did equal Caterham’s best F1 result. Trouble is, they were pipped by Marussia and Jules Bianchi who finished ninth and collected two world championship points, something Caterham is yet to do in F1.
So recent talk suggesting Fernandes was ready to sell all of his Caterham assets—the F1 team and the car manufacturer—came as no surprise. However, the business tycoon has issued a clear statement that Caterham is not for sale.
“Caterham Group is not for sale,” Fernandes said. “We love what we build and we are always looking for further investment. This is no different to how we started AirAsia.
“Yes, we are constantly challenging ourselves and making decisions on everything from the structure to projects within the Group.
“That is normal business. That does not mean we are selling.”
Still, something tells us Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi had better hope they enjoy a few good Sundays before the year is out otherwise Fernandes may come good on his pre-season promise.