“I think we have made a lot of progress. There will be more changes, more things to be done. I prefer to have 200 safe jobs than 300 lost jobs,” said the 46-year-old Romanian-born German.
“Sometimes you have to make unpopular decisions. But believe me, I think certain people know and understand that changes have to be done and that it cannot continue like this. It’s impossible.”
Caterham were handed over by Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes – who had threatened before the start of the season to walk away if the team did not improve – to a mystery group of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors days before last weekend’s British Grand Prix.
Kolles said they were “private individuals from the Middle East with Swiss connections.” Formula One’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone told Reuters separately he had no idea who they were.
Kolles is advising newly-installed team principal Christijan Albers, the Dutch former F1 driver he has worked closely with, despite sacking him from the Spyker team in 2007.
Some changes were evident at Silverstone with branding associated with Fernandes’ AirAsia airline stripped off the cars, even if there had been no time to replace team apparel.
The General Electric logo that had been prominent went, along with Airbus and a string of Fernandes-owned businesses.
Kolles said only paying partners remained on the cars – one of them mobile company Truphone whose investors include Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.
“I am not here as a charity. What you see there is reality,” he shrugged.