Caterham sale rumors rubbished by owner Tony Fernandes

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Caterham F1 Team owner Tony Fernandes has moved to end rumors in the Malaysian media that suggested he might be set to sell the team and its sportscar division.

According to a story on The Edge Malaysia, Fernandes was set to put the entire Caterham brand up for sale for almost $600m after failing to move from the back of the grid in five years, despite other commendable achievements.

However, Fernandes – who also owns English soccer club Queens Park Rangers – put an end to these rumors in a statement released earlier this week.

“Caterham Group is not for sale. We love what we build and we are always looking for further investment. This is no different to how we started AirAsia,” he explained, with reference to his other business venture.

“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.”

Caterham matched its best ever result at last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, with Marcus Ericsson coming home in 11th place. However, this was overshadowed by Marussia’s first ever points in Formula 1, by virtue of Jules Bianchi’s ninth place finish.

Although the team may not have excelled and lived up to Fernandes’ initial expectations, Caterham has certainly been a welcome addition to the Formula 1 paddock since making its debut in 2010. Should there be another race like Monaco at some point this season, Caterham could follow in Marussia’s footsteps and pick up its first ever points.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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