New Caterham chief Cyril Abiteboul hopes to make ‘dreams come true’

Cyril Abiteboul (right) with Caterham sporting director Steve Nielsen at Yas Marina. Photo: Charles Coates Cyril Abiteboul (right) with Caterham sporting director Steve Nielsen at Yas Marina. Photo: Charles Coates

Thursday, November 8, 2012
1:05 PM

Cyril Abiteboul hopes to make dreams come true after being confirmed as Caterham F1’s new team principal.

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"Cyril takes over during a season when we have not yet fulfilled our potential, but at a time when we have everything in place to help us do so"

Tony Fernandes

The 35-year-old Frenchman and promising high flier left Renault Sport to become the Hingham-backed Formula One team’s chief executive in September and now takes over from Tony Fernandes with immediate effect, Caterham confirmed on Thursday – making him the youngest team boss in F1.

“I am honoured to take over as team principal, now combining that role with the CEO post I took up in September, and I would like to thank Tony and (fellow co-chairman) Kamarudin (Meranun) for the chance to lead this team into the next phase of its growth,” said Abiteboul.

“We have big challenges ahead of us but the shareholders are committed and behind us to help us take significant steps forward over the coming years, and one day challenge for the highest honours in F1.

“We have an incredible spirit within the team and that has been created by Tony and Kamarudin. This spirit, allied to a strategic vision that gives us a clear path to success, is what will keep driving us forwards and we all look forward to the day we can make the dreams our shareholders had several years ago come true.”

The move allows Fernandes to concentrate on developing Caterham’s new road car range announced earlier in the week with Renault and niche manufacturer Alpine, as well as his role as chairman of Premier League football club Queens Park Rangers.

The Malaysian also hopes Abiteboul can bring about more drive for improvement from Caterham’s F1 team, which has found progress difficult to come by this season.

“Cyril is going to be an excellent team principal,” said Fernandes. “He has extensive experience in F1, is extremely well respected and he shares our vision for what we want our team to achieve.

“He takes over during a season when we have not yet fulfilled our potential, but at a time when we have everything in place to help us do so. One day we will earn our seat at the top table of Formula One and he is the right person to take us there.

“Kamarudin and I will continue as co-chairman of Caterham Group and we now have the best possible team in place to take our dream into its next phase. We will still have an active interest in our various Caterham companies, but we have now reached the point in the growth of the business where it makes most sense to step back.”

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