Caterham F1 Team Logo


Caterham F1


  • Caterham F1 Team Official Name
  • Leafield, United Kingdom Base
  • 2012 F1 Debut
  • Tony Fernandes/Cyril Abiteboul Team Boss
  • Mike Gascoyne Technical Chief
  • 0 World Championships

Initially Malaysian-owned, and later British, the Caterham F1 Team competed in Formula 1 with a Malaysian license from 2012 to 2014. The teams entry into F1 followed Tony Fernandes’s acquisition of the British sports car brand Caterham Cars, leading to the creation of the Caterham Group.

Notable Team Members and Drivers

Tony Fernandes: As the team’s principal and founder, Fernandes was pivotal in the team’s entry into F1 and rebranding from Lotus Racing to Caterham.

Heikki Kovalainen: Key driver who competed for the team during its transition from Lotus Racing to Caterham F1.

Kamui Kobayashi: Competed for Caterham in 2014, known for his aggressive driving style and fan-favourite status, adding visibility for the brand.

Tony Fernandes entered Formula 1 in 2010 with Lotus Racing under a license granted by Group Lotus owner Proton. Nicknamed 1Malaysia F1, the team was operated by 1Malaysia Racing Team, born out of a national initiative led by the Malaysian government. After losing the Lotus name at the end of 2010 when Proton terminated his licence, Fernandes acquired the Team Lotus name in 2011, not to be mistaken for the original 1954–1994 F1 team, Team Lotus.

Facing legal challenges throughout 2011 from Proton for continuing to use the Lotus name, Fernandes expanded his motorsport interests by acquiring Caterham Cars. This led to a significant rebranding effort for the 2012 Formula 1 season, with Fernandes’s team transitioning from Lotus Racing/Team Lotus to Caterham F1, while Renault adopted the Lotus name. Renault would compete under the Lotus banner from 2012 to 2015 as Lotus F1.

After transitioning to Caterham F1, Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen were re-signed by Caterham from Team Lotus for the 2012 season. The team announced a move to Leafield Technical Centre in Oxfordshire, where the Caterham CT01, their first car equipped with KERS, would be built. But even before the 2012 season began, Vitaly Petrov replaced Trulli, following Trulli’s disappointment with the team’s progress.

In November 2012, Charles Pic joined Caterham on a multi-year deal, with Giedo van der Garde as his rookie teammate. By March 2013, Alexander Rossi and Ma Qinghua were named reserve drivers, and Heikki Kovalainen returned as a reserve driver in April to aid in car development. Despite achieving their best qualifying position at the Belgian Grand Prix with van der Garde, Caterham concluded the season 11th in the 2013 Constructors’ Championship, behind Marussia.

In January 2014, Caterham F1 introduced Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi as their new drivers, with team owner Fernandes threatening to leave if performance didn’t improve. Post-Monaco Grand Prix, Caterham set a record for most starts without points, overshadowed by Marussia’s first points win.

With a lack of results, in July 2014, ownership shifted to a Swiss-Middle Eastern consortium. Under new management, Kobayashi unexpectedly missed the Belgian Grand Prix. He was replaced by former Jaguar F1 driver André Lotterer, who retired early from his debut race due to mechanical issues. Lotterer opted not to race further for Caterham that season without better team conditions.

As things worsened for the team, Caterham F1 eventually left Formula One after entering administration in late 2014 due to financial difficulties. Despite a crowdfunding campaign allowing them to compete in the final race of the 2014 season, the team could not secure the necessary funding to continue racing. In 2015, their assets were auctioned off, marking the official end of the team’s participation in Formula 1.

Caterham F1 Legacy

After acquiring Caterham Cars and changing the constructor name, Caterham F1 saw little success in F1, achieving race-best results of three 13th-placed finishes over three seasons.

Caterham F1 Formula One World Championship Records

First entry2012 Australian Grand Prix
Races entered55
Constructors’ Championships0
Drivers’ Championships0
Race victories0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
Final entry2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Caterham F1 Constructors’ Championship Results

2012Caterham F1CT01Heikki Kovalainen
Vitaly Petrov
2013Caterham F1CT03Charles Pic
Giedo van der Garde
2014Caterham F1CT05Marcus Ericsson
Will Stevens
Kamui Kobayashi
André Lotterer

Previous/Next Team Names

Team Nationality Debut Season Status
Lotus Racing Malaysian 2010 Historic