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Caterham prepares for Leafield move
Caterham has started work on refurbishing its new Leafield headquarters ready for the team to move following the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Currently based in Hingham, the Formula One team will be the first arm of the Caterham Group to move in to the former Arrows base in Oxfordshire in late July. The move is to bring the Formula One and GP2 race teams together under the same roof as Caterham Cars, Caterham Composites and Caterham Technology and Innovation.
Team principal Tony Fernandes said that he was excited by the potential for the team at the new base.
"Work has now started at Leafield," Fernandes said. "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 team's 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. Importantly, it will also give us the base we need to allow Caterham Group to achieve the impossible for many years to come. This is why I am so excited about what we have ahead of us, and this is why I am now dreaming of bigger, better and more ambitious plans than ever before."
Technical director Mark Smith also said that the new location would help the team's recruitment options.
"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," Smith said. "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. Since I joined the team in 2011 I have been aware that there have been people we wanted to bring to Norfolk who were reluctant to move their families out of 'motorsport valley' where all the UK based F1 teams, and their associated supply chains and partners, are based. 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 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."