Report: Caterham staff cuts occurring following ownership change

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Colin Kolles’ previous stints in Formula One with the team now known as Force India (Jordan, Midland, MF1 and Spyker prior) and HRT have been known for running lean operations. Now, with Caterham, history appears to once again be repeating itself.

A report from the BBC’s Andrew Benson confirmed the now Kolles-led, Leafield-based Caterham F1 Team has cut 40 members of its staff, including deputy technical director Jody Eggington and head of track operations Gerry Hughes, among others.

Hughes, interestingly, had returned to Formula One with Caterham after a two-year stint working as an engineer with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Kolles and Christijan Albers are now the de facto heads of the team, even though the combination Swiss-Middle Eastern ownership group has not been named.

Kolles told Benson at Silverstone, “We will do the utmost and put a lot of investment into this to try to gain 10th in the championship. If we don’t, we will look at budgets and have to adapt to a different situation.”

To gain 10th, Caterham would need one of two things to happen the remainder of this season. It would either need to score its first ever World Championship point, or would need its second 11th-place finish of the year to break a tie with the equally scoreless Sauber squad.

Marcus Ericsson’s 11th at Monaco equaled the team’s best ever result, but it was a disappointing one given fellow newcomers Marussia scored two points with Jules Bianchi’s ninth place.

Ericsson’s teammate Kamui Kobayashi may be forced to step aside if the need for a heavily funded driver arises. On the reserve driver front, Dutchman Robin Frijns stays on board while American Alexander Rossi has confirmed his departure as of Wednesday morning.

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
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SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.