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Caterham Appoint Renault Sport Director As New CEO
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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  23 Sep 2012   |  8:25 am GMT  |  8 comments

Caterham F1 have announced this weekend that the current Deputy Managing Director of Renault Sport F1, Cyril Abiteboul, is to become the teams new CEO; taking control of all on and off track operations and reporting directly to Riad Asmat and Tony Fernandes.

It is an interesting move which could also have wider implications for Caterham’s relationship with Renault on the road car side.

Due to contractual commitments Abiteboul will remain in his role at Renault Sport F1 until January 2013, splitting his efforts between that and his new role at Caterham.

Having been part of the Renault brand since 2001, the Frenchman became the Business Development Manager of Renault F1 in 2007 before returning to the main Renault group as Executive Director of Renault Sport F1 in 201o. Finally, he was promoted to his current role as Deputy Managing Director.

“The vision, enthusiasm and appetite of the shareholders and the whole team will be very precious strengths to help us tackle the many challenges we have ahead as we continue to develop the F1 platform and hopefully make our way up through the grid. The multi-cultural character of the group of people in the team, together with the business and industrial project that the F1 activity serves under the Caterham Group umbrella made it an obvious choice for me after 11 great years with Renault to whom I can never be thankful enough for all I have been able to learn and experience throughout my time with them,” said Abiteboul.

Tony Fernandes believes that the new appointment will give the team confidence in their new CEO and allow for Caterham Group CEO, Riad Asmat, to focus more of his attention elsewhere in the group.

It could also lead to some closer integration between Caterham and Renault on the automotive side, as Fernandes looks to build out that side of the business,

“As CEO he will lead our F1 operation and will work closely with Riad, who can now turn his full attention to the continuing growth of the wider Caterham Group which is already active in the automotive, aerospace and marine industries. Cyril will also strengthen the excellent relationship that we have with Renault, particularly as we work towards the introduction of the new engine regulations in 2014 when engines will play an even greater role in overall car performance,” added Fernandes.

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8 Comments
  1. Wayne says:

    Nice article, thanks. No-one else bothers reporting this stuff usually on the assumption that people are not interested in what the back markers are doing…

  2. Caterham Fan says:

    As above – great to see James taking an interest in the “lower orders” and putting a lot of interesting information and links on here. Let’s hope Caterham can justify Tony Fernandes’ optimism and really take the fight to the mid-fielders!

  3. Aryan says:

    Interesting move and as others have said James, thanks for reporting on this.

    One question: Where is Gascoyne in the whole Caterham group now? What’s his current role?

  4. Mr_Peabody says:

    As a fan of the green team, my opinion is that Caterham is overdue for some shaking up as this year has been underwhelming at best. There need to be some significant improvements both technically, especially in aero to improve the draggy low downforce car, and operationally to improve the trackside maturity. Last night’s race showed how weak the team has become since 2011.

    The upside is that Tony has acknowledged the lack of progress and maybe, hopefully, this appt will add an element of leadership and professionalism to the operation. I still think they have not replaced the capabilities of Mike Gascoyne and Dieter Gass at the operational level in general and certainly not trackside.

  5. When you think he doesn’t even have a uni degree, Cyril must be quite an amazing man. I have no doubt he’ll take the Caterham F1 Team toanother level.

    In Singapore, he was outside watching the GP2 practice amongst the fans and no one seemed to notice him. That was before this story broke out though.

  6. Elie says:

    James I’m just wondering how the other Renault powered teams might take this news. Perception may be that he will bring some major advantages. He will have his work cut out and I don’t see Tony Fernandes stepping aside for quite some time if ever. It’s one thing being a deputy at engine supplier and another to driving a fully fledged race team forward. Obviously a manoeuvre to position Caterham sweetly for the 2014 engine regs.

  7. Simon says:

    Abiteboul is one of the brightest persons working in F1!

    Well Done!

  8. Kay says:

    This is not going to help them to get further up.

    Sacking Mike Gas might though. Can’t recall him wining anything in the past..

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