Can they afford to do that ?
No, they will soon find out that 2013 is the go or bust year. They better get that in their heads. In recent years the plugs have been pulled at really bad times. Results are essential from the start.
Caterham Cars medium term future is secured with the Alpine deal, in fact it creates a «problem», because maybe it will open a window to LMP racing. Too far fetched? Caterham has that Lola prototype collecting dust somewhere, there is your base for a bigger prototype, Lola spares are also back in production.
Renault may even be keen on trying an engine first at Le Mans to test the waters. Sure they could go to Williams. But it makes more sense for Alpine to spearhead a Le Mans effort, even if initially disguised as a Caterham.
That puts the Formula 1 side of things in a less favourable perspective. The man power and facilites are still minimal for one small Formula 1 operation. The car part is also now on the same site, which means there is now a single but larger bill to pay. As much as I support Caterham I can't see them undertaking 3 projects at the same time.
This may sound negative, but the team has now 1 year in delay and 1 year is huge in Formula 1. Sure, Giancarlo Minardi held on, but as soon as the big guns entered he had to sell to Stoddart and Stoddart himself was forced to sell to Red Bull.
You think Bernie was joking when he mooted another exit? He has been a team owner himself, he handles the money and knows what's going on. Caterham may indeed get another 10 th spot, but has to be spot with points and good showings.