Caterham prepare for move to new Leafield site 17 Jul 2012
Caterham have confirmed renovation and refurbishment work has started at their new base in Leafield, Oxfordshire. The Formula One team, who competed in the 2010/11 seasons as Lotus, will move from their current site in Hingham, Norfolk, after the Hungarian event later this month.
It is hard to believe that it is less than three years since we first walked into the empty factory in Hingham where we started the F1 team back in 2009, said team principal Tony Fernandes. At that point we had four full-time employees, a couple of notepads and a rather daunting job list that many people said was utterly unachievable.
The Caterham Group is now the embodiment of all the ideas and dreams we had in 2009 and now, with Leafield open for business, we have put in place the next vital stage for the continuing development of all the Caterham Group businesses. The F1 and GP2 teams will be first in place in Leafield, and Caterham Cars will be moving its HQ to Leafield in due course.
The first task is to refurbish the whole site and prepare it for a long and successful future. While that work is taking place the F1 teams race trucks have left Hingham with our 2012 race cars for the last time. The next time they are back in the UK they will go straight to Leafield and that is excellent news for everybody associated with Caterham Group.
More than 200 of the F1 team staff are making the move to Oxfordshire over the next few weeks and when we have finished the refurbishment, in late October 2012, we will have a facility that will put us on a par with the teams we are trying to catch in F1.
Caterhams technical director Mark Smith added: In common with most of the current employees of the F1 team I have moved back nearer to our new base in Leafield and I am very excited about the future this gives us, not just for the F1 team but Caterham Group as a whole. The Leafield site is perfect for our needs in F1, GP2 and all our interests in motorsport now and in the future, and it also gives us the platform to expand into any industry that sees that we can provide new ideas and world-class performance.
One of the immediate benefits of the move is in attracting people to come and work with us. There has never been an issue with people not sharing our vision, being as excited about our future as everyone who works with Tony and CEO Riad (Asmat) are, but it was undeniable that geography may have prevented us from expanding at quite the rate we want to.
Now Leafield is open we have no barriers. We are in the heart of the motorsport industry, not only in the UK but worldwide, and we have an aggressive employment plan in place that will help us keep moving up the grid. With so much investment made in giving us this platform to work from now it is down to the people who work in Caterham Group and everybody we work with to help us keep achieving our goals and we could not ask for better motivation than that.
Although Caterhams Formula One operation will move to the Oxfordshire site, which previously housed Arrows and Super Aguri, the Hingham factory will continue to expand as the home of Caterham Composites and Caterham Technology and Innovation.
For tickets and travel to 2012 Formula One races, click here.
For Formula One and F1 team merchandise, click here.