Race winning GP3 Series outfit Status Grand Prix have agreed to acquire the Caterham Racing GP2 Series team.
The deal sees Status increase its presence in motorsport, something they have been looking to do for a while, with the team looking to build on the success the Caterham team have enjoyed in GP2 in recent years, including race wins, the last of which was with Alexander Rossi at the end of 2013.
The deal sees the Caterham Racing personnel move from the Leafield base of the Caterham team to the Status Grand Prix site before the end of the month, although the team will continue to be called Caterham Racing for the remainder of the 2014 GP2 Series season before being renamed for next season, with both Rio Haryanto and Pierre Gasly continuing to drive for the team in Abu Dhabi next month.
Outgoing Caterham Racing Team Owner Tony Fernandes was happy to see his team acquired by Status, and believes it now provides a more effective ladder for drivers who have the aim of reaching Formula 1.
“Firstly, I would like to say that this announcement is very positive for us and Status Grand Prix,” insisted 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 Caterham F1 team, we should seek affiliation with a GP3 team to create a more effective ladder for young drivers who aspire to Formula One. 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.”
Status Grand Prix Team Principal Teddy Yip Jr was delighted to see his team expand into GP2, feeling the time was right to increase Status Grand Prix’s presence in motorsport.
“Having been multiple GP3 race winners, as well as A1GP World Cup champions with A1 Team Ireland, we have always had the ambition to move further up the motorsport ladder when the time is right,” said Yip Jr. “The opportunity to take over an established and highly-regarded team such as Caterham Racing, allied to a strong season in GP3, makes that time now.
“The Status GP2 team will be run from our Silverstone base to the same exacting standards as our race-winning GP3 team.”
GP2 Series CEO Bruno Michel welcomed the arrival of Status Grand Prix into GP2, and believes the team will adapt to the series much like it has with GP3.
“I am pleased to welcome Status Grand Prix to GP2 Series,” said Michel. “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.”