You might have thought that the Caterham F1 team, currently sitting dead last in the standings without a single championship point to its name, had already hit rock bottom and couldn't sink any lower. But apparently it has. As we reported just recently, Caterham Sports Limited – the factory that produces the F1 cars that the team fields in the FIA Formula One World Championship – was facing bankruptcy. And now, it seems, the team itself could fall apart as well.
UPDATE: Caterham has issued an unequivocal press release, stating explicitly: "Despite press romours to the contrary, Caterham Group is not for sale." The statement goes on to say that the sports car maker is "actively searching" for new investment as a means to support its continued development. Please scroll down to read the short press release from Caterham.
Caterham will be radically expanding beyond its core market of track-day specials with a new Renault-based CUV and city car. Following our initial reports back in November, the new models, which we can only hope are as ridiculously sporty as Caterham's other offerings, have been confirmed by Chairman Tony Fernandes to news agency Reuters.
Caterham may be looking to expand its product scope beyond its current offerings. After the company announced an alliance with Renault yesterday, Caterham Chairman Tony Fernandes was quoted as saying the partnership is "the start of a line of products from Caterham." Fernandes went on to say the purist sports car manufacturer could move to begin producing crossovers and city cars in the same way that Porsche has evolved its position in the market. Don't start crying at the thought of a five-door
You don't get much higher stakes than Formula One. And while some teams have their own airplanes, there are a couple this season that have their own airlines: Richard Branson's Virgin, and Tony Fernandes' Lotus Racing and Air Asia.
The relationship between Lotus the automaker and Lotus the F1 racing team only seems to be getting more complicated. The name was licensed by Malaysian state automaker Proton to fellow Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes for use by his F1 team. Then Fernandes announced he didn't need Proton's permission and bought the name from a third party who claimed ownership. Proton and Lotus disputed the claim and canceled the licensing agreement, but Fernandes insisted he was within his rights. Both Lotu
Things are heating up in Formula One. As you may recall, earlier this year, Lotus head honcho Tony Fernandes jested that he would retire and kill himself if his team was bested by Virgin. A gaggle of reporters recently pinged Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson to see how he felt about Fernandes' oath of victory or death, and Branson responded with a challenge for the Lotus guru. The boss of the losing team will have to serve as a stewardess on the winning team's respective airline.
Stick with us here, because this is going to get a little complicated. We have on the one hand Lotus Cars and Group Lotus. On the other we have the current Lotus F1 team. The former – producers of such sportscars as the Elise and the new Elite – is owned by Malaysian state automaker Proton. The former is also Malaysian-owned, but by businessman Tony Fernandes (pictured above, owner also of Air Asia), and uses the name Lotus under license from Proton.