Christijan Albers resigns as Caterham team principal

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Caterham team principal Christijan Albers has resigned after just two months in charge of the ailing Formula 1 team, citing “private reasons” for his departure.

The Dutchman took over as CEO and then team principal of the team following its purchase by a consortium made up of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors, brokered by his former boss, Colin Kolles.

Since then, Caterham has undergone a number of changes, including the dismissal of a number of team members who are now seeking legal action against the team.

On track, it has also seen some changes, with Kamui Kobayashi being benched in favor of Andre Lotterer in Belgium. It is expected that he will be asked to step aside once again for the Singapore Grand Prix to allow Roberto Merhi to make his F1 debut.

In a statement issued after the Italian Grand Prix, Albers confirmed that he would be handing his duties over to Manfredi Ravetto with immediate effect.

“Over the past months I have dedicated all my energy to ensure the takeover of the team would go as smoothly as possible and to achieve the best possible result for our investors, sponsors and all the people involved with Caterham F1 Team,” Albers said. “As such I worked tirelessly to reconstruct the team while, at the same time, making technical updates on the car.

“In doing this we created both a better foundation for the team’s future and achieved significant improvements on the speed of the car.

“Due to private reasons and in order to be able to spend more time with my family, I will resign from my position as CEO of Caterham F1 Team. I wish the team all the best in the future‎.”

Ravetto thanked Albers for his efforts with the team, saying: “Christijan has been an asset to the team since the moment he joined. It’s been a challenging last few months, but we have moved forward together and we want to thank him for his hard work and commitment to the team. We wish him the best for the future.”

Following a very uncertain period, this news will only add to the concerns about Caterham’s future, and paddock consensus suggests that the team will not be featuring on the grid for the 2015 season.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.