Tony Fernandes has confirmed reports he is stepping down as boss of his formula one team Caterham.
That might be news for team driver Heikki Kovalainen, who earlier played down the rumours when asked by the Finnish broadcaster MTV3.
“Tony told me recently that he is 100 per cent committed to the team,” he was quoted as saying.
But wire services Reuters and AFP said Fernandes, the Malaysian entrepreneur, has already lined up his successor.
Rumours suggest it could be Jean-Francois Caubet, whose last race as engine supplier Renault’s F1 chief was in Abu Dhabi last weekend.
“On the racing side we have come to the conclusion that it is better if someone else takes over the team principal role to move forward,” Fernandes is quoted by Autocar.
Asked who will replace him, he answered: “I cannot tell you their name yet. All I can say is that they are from within F1.”
Fernandes said he and deputy chairman Dato Kamarudin Meranun were right to lead the project from its 2010 inception until now.
“We are definitely better at business than finding tenths of seconds around a lap,” he said.
“It was right for us to lead the team initially and set a template of how it should be. That vision is now set and the team is ready to move forward to the midfield.”