Tony Fernandes to step down as Caterham team principal

Tony Fernandes is to step down as team principal at Hingham-backed Formula One outfit Caterham at the end of the season.

The Malaysian entrepreneur and team founder – along with deputy Kamarudin Meranun – plans to hand over the constructor's reins to more experienced hands after what has proved a tricky 2012 campaign

Caterham remain without a championship point since arriving on the grid in 2010 and are still to catch up with the midfield teams like Toro Rosso and Force India. They even face losing their prized 10th place to Marussia, unless things change in the final two races of 2012.

Fernandes has plenty of other projects to keep himself busy, including his role as chairman of Premier League strugglers Queens Park Rangers and owner of successful airline Air Asia and car manufacturer Caterham Cars – who announced plans for a new line of sports cars earlier in the week.

Now Fernandes has admitted it is time for someone else to take on his Formula One outfit.

'On the racing side we have come to the conclusion that it is better if someone else takes over the team principal role to move forward,' said Fernandes.

'We are definitely better at business than finding tenths of seconds around a lap. It was right for us to lead the team initially and set a template of how it should be. That vision is now set and the team is ready to move forward to the midfield.

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'I know who it will be (his successor) and can tell you that as I had confirmation earlier, but I cannot tell you their name yet. All I can say is they are from within F1.'

A 12th place finish or better ahead of Marussia in Austin or Sao Paulo would be enough for Caterham to retake 10th place – a constructors' championship position they occupied in their first two seasons as best of F1's three newest teams.

And they came close to doing just that in Abui Dhabi at the weekend, with Heikki Kovalainen having to settle for 13th around Yas Marina.