Prior to last weekend's British Grand Prix, the chatter in the Silverstone paddock was all about the sale of the Caterham F1 team to unidentified investors from Dubai and Switzerland.
The first major effect of the deal was that the letters 'GE' were removed from the cars, ending a useful arrangement between former team owner Tony Fernandes and General Electric that had allowed F1 to boast that one of America’s most powerful countries was involved in the sport.
The announcement meant that Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul was free to go and he was duly snapped up by Renault to replace the head of the French firm’s F1 engine division Jean-Michel Jalinier. The latter has been wandering around with an invisible target painted on his back since this year’s Renault V6 F1 engine first appeared and was blown into the weeds by the Mercedes version of the same motor.
In recent years Jalinier had enjoyed being top dog in the F1 engine world thanks to Renault’s alliance with the triumphant Infiniti Red Bull Racing, but when things turned sour he decided to retire. Some felt that this was perhaps not the full story and that it was more likely that he had been led away and metaphorically shot behind the garages…