Amid stories of big changes at Caterham F1, with dozens of staff having been let go in recent days, work is now going on to change the aerodynamics of the car as quickly as possible in order to try to snatch 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship from Sauber, or even ninth from Marussia, which would require a ninth place finish. Finishing in the top 10 would guarantee that Caterham would win around $50 million in prize money, which would go a long way towards setting the team on the right path for the future. This is sure to knock noses out of joint but it is clear that the new owners and management know that change was necessary, rather than letting the team go on underachieving as before.
One problem that will not go away, however, is the fact that the team is owned by a Malaysian company. The team can change its licence to whatever nationality it so desires and the name can also change, albeit with rather more difficulty, but the entry cannot be transferred to a different company because it is linked to the company number. The team could try to get the other signatories to agree to change the terms of the deal but this is unlikely to succeed because of the trouble such a precedent could set. That means that for now the team needs to have at least one Malaysian resident national on its board of directors and has to go through the necessary corporate processes in Malaysia. This complicates matters but is not the end of the world. It is conceivable that an arrangement can be found before the next Concorde Agreement (or equivalent) in 2020.
In the interim, it is down to what F1 is all about: producing a better car and scoring points. If the team can do that, everything else will follow.