Leafield-based Caterham F1 racing team "not for sale" - Fernandes

The Oxford Times: Tony Fernandes Tony Fernandes

MORE than 350 staff at the headquarters of the Caterham Formula 1 motor racing team are breathing a sigh of relief after their boss insisted the business is not for sale.

Tony Fernandes was said to have put the Leafield-based organisation on the market for £350m but he has dismissed the reports as “factually incorrect.”

He said: "The 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. 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."

Joint chairman Mr Fernandes, who also owns Queens Park Rangers football team, is known to be disappointed his F1 team has yet to win a single point since setting up in 2010.

But he has pledged not to walk away but to seek investment to fund what he describes as “ambitious plans to develop”.

Last November, Caterham took on extra staff at Leafield to work on its motorcycle racing team which competes in Moto 2, the second tier of international motorbike racing.

It also unveiled plans to launch a motorbike division.

Caterham, which left East Anglia to come to Oxfordshire in 2012, took over the Leafield factory which was once home to defunct F1 team Arrows.

The move brought Caterham's F1 team, which raced as Lotus in the 2010-11 season and its niche sports car company, Caterham Cars, under one roof.

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