17 October 2014
GP2: Status steps up with Caterham acquisition
Although the name change will not take effect until 2015, Status Grand Prix will replace Caterham Racing in the GP2 Series ahead of next month's Abu Dhabi showdown.
Status Grand Prix has signed an agreement to acquire Caterham Racing and assume its place on the GP2 Series grid with immediate effect.
The team will continue to compete as Caterham Racing for the remainder of the 2014 season, but will become Status Grand Prix in 2015. The current driver line-up of Rio Haryanto and Pierre Gasly is also unaffected by the takeover with just the final round of the season to run, at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi next month.
Status is no stranger to the F1 support race paddock, having been competing, successfully, in the GP3 Series since the category's inception and its acquisition of Caterham Racing makes it the sixth outfit to run in both GP2 and GP3 series.
“I am pleased to welcome Status Grand Prix to GP2,” series CEO Bruno Michel said, “They've been in GP3 since the beginning and have been successful over the past five seasons. I have no doubt that, with the help and the experience of the current staff, they will be able to achieve the same level of performance in GP2 and will adapt quickly to the demands of the category.”
Having already off-loaded its F1 operation, Caterham's top flight exit is completed by this latest development. Since the sale of Caterham F1 Team in July 2014, Caterham Racing has remained part of Caterham Group with several expansion options in the pipeline. Status Grand Prix have also been looking to increase their motorsport portfolio and the acquisition of Caterham Racing provides both teams with a more effective ladder to F1. Caterham Racing personnel are scheduled to move to the Status Grand Prix facility, just 30 miles from their current base at Leafield Technical Centre, before the end of the month.
"Firstly, I would like to say that this announcement is very positive for us and Status Grand Prix,” insisted Caterham Racing team owner Tony Fernandes, “We have built a strong GP2 team with excellent personnel over the last four years, and we can be proud of the multiple race wins and podiums we have achieved in the series.
"It became clear to me some time ago that, without the Caterham F1 team, we should seek affiliation with a GP3 team to create a more effective ladder for young drivers who aspire to F1. Following in-depth discussions with Status Grand Prix, we have reached an agreement that will strengthen and secure the future of the GP2 team. I would like to thank Bruno Michel and the GP2 Series for four successful years and wish Status Grand Prix the best of luck for the future."
While other teams have seen a contraction in operations, Status has continued to explore expansion opportunities, and team principal Teddy Yip confirms that stepping up to GP2 via the acquisition of Caterham Racing is another step in that programme.
"Status Grand Prix has been part of the GP2 family for five years and, having been multiple race winners in GP3, we have always had the ambition to move up into the senior formula when the time was right,” he concluded, “The opportunity to take over an established and highly-regarded team such as Caterham Racing makes that time now. I would like to thank Tony Fernandes and Mia Sharizman at Caterham Racing for their constructive approach to this agreement, and Bruno Michel at GP2 for his valuable support during the negotiations."
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