LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) - Caterham will move into the former Arrows and Super Aguri factory at Leafield in central England after this month’s Hungarian Grand Prix, the Malaysian-owned Formula One team said on Monday.
Team principal Tony Fernandes said in a statement that the move from Hingham, in eastern England, marked the most important point in the team’s development since it entered the sport as Lotus Racing in 2010.
“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,” he added.
He said work to refurbish the site had started and the team’s race trucks, which have left Hingham for back-to-back races in Germany this weekend and then Hungary, would return to Leafield from Budapest.
More than 200 team staff were making the move to Oxfordshire in the next few weeks, he added.
Technical director Mark Smith said the move, in the heart of Britain’s ‘Motorsport Valley’, would make it easier for the team to recruit and retain staff who had been reluctant to move to more isolated Hingham.
“It was undeniable that geography may have prevented us from expanding at quite the rate we want to,” he said. “Now Leafield is open, we have no barriers.”
Smith said the team had an “aggressive employment plan in place that will help us keep moving up the grid.”
Caterham have yet to score a point since their debut but have moved closer to the midfield teams this season and away from Marussia and HRT, who came in with them in 2010, at the bottom of the grid. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Alison Wildey)