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.