LONDON, Nov 8, 2012 (AFP) - Cyril Abiteboul was appointed the new team principal of fledgling Formula One team Caterham on Thursday and then promptly given the task of taking the British outfit to the "top table" of the sport.
Abiteboul, who joined Catherham in September as its chief executive, was promoted after Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes, decided to step aside to concentrate on Caterham's road car division and other commercial interests.
Fernandes set up Catherham as a Grand Prix outfit and is also the man behind budget airline AirAsia, as well as the chairman of English Premier League football club Queens Park Rangers.
Catherham have yet to win a point in their three seasons in Formula One and Abiteboul admitted: "We have big challenges ahead of us.
"But the shareholders are committed and behind us to help us take significant steps forward over the coming years and one day challenge for the highest honours in F1."
Fernandes said: "Cyril is going to be an excellent team principal. He has extensive experience in F1, is extremely well-respected and he shares our vision for what we want our team to achieve.
"He takes over during a season when we have not yet fulfilled our potential but at a time when we have everything in place to help us do so. One day we will earn our seat at the top table of Formula One and he is the right person to take us there."