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Best choices for the future of Caterham


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Poll: Which driver SHOULD get the vacant driving seat? (164 member(s) have cast votes)

Which driver SHOULD get the vacant driving seat?

  1. Heikki Kovalainen (56 votes [34.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 34.57%

  2. Vitaly Petrov (72 votes [44.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.44%

  3. Giedo van der Garde (6 votes [3.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.70%

  4. Bruno Senna (23 votes [14.20%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.20%

  5. Luiz Razia (5 votes [3.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.09%

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#1 Jejking

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 16:44

Since I almost started talking about Lotus, who recently had their drivers confirmed for 2013, but had money problems and are facing a challenging 2013, it's time to talk about the other Lotus-team, Caterham. Charles Pic is the first driver to be announced but the second seat is still vacant. The choices are:

- Heikki Kovalainen (is off on the money part and had tough competition from Vitaly Petrov).
- Vitaly Petrov (supposedly solved the sponsorship issues, has money and matched and/or defeated Kovalainen but he has nowhere to go)
- Giedo van der Garde (has a sugar daddy, some talent but couldn't impress in GP2)
- Bruno Senna (can say he has sponsor money, experience and lagged in 2012 behind Maldonado except for a couple of races)
- Luiz Razia (who has some good results from the past, 2nd in GP2 last year)

Who is the best choice? I think, as a Dutchman, that Giedo van der Garde shouldn't get a chance on this level based on earlier performance. Senna has had a lot of chances already and is not convincing, while Petrov is a real match for Kovalainen but sits on a lot of money as well. Razia is the big ?, what do you think? And what should Caterham do to move up the grid, who has got to be taken onboard and who should get dumped?

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#2 GhostR

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 16:59

Was a close run choice between Petrov or Senna for me, but Petrov got the nod.

Petrov more-or-less matched Kovalainen last year, and based on that still appears to be improving as an F1 driver. So his money gives him the nod over Kova.

GvdG and Razia ... neither fill me with confidence based on past history. Adding a complete rookie alongside Pic doesn't strike me as a plan for success.

Senna - apparently has the funding. And has shown flashes of solid talent as well. I still have question marks over whether or not he's a solid tier-2 driver who could potentially earn a drive on merit or just a solid pay driver. My judgement is that he was beaten by Maldonado last year, but was more consistent and potentially handicapped by the Friday Bottas situation.

Overall, Petrov edges giving Senna another chance purely on the basis that Caterham should have some continuity on the driver side.

#3 Ze Bum

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 17:33

- Heikki Kovalainen (is off on the money part and had tough competition from Vitaly Petrov).
- Vitaly Petrov (supposedly solved the sponsorship issues, has money and matched and/or defeated Kovalainen but he has nowhere to go)


I think it was Kovalainen who was much faster in qualifying, had lots of great starts, and was actually fighting with the midfield cars in the beginning of races. He was even faster in Brazil all the time but got a crap strategy with 5 pit stops, while Petrov cruised to the much praised 11th place.

If Caterham was a midfield team with lots of actual qualifying and racing against other teams, I'm sure Kovalainen would have double the points of Petrov.


#4 Vesuvius

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 17:40

I hope Heikki or Vitaly will get the drive, both of them deserve it. Heikki said today that it's taking so long from Caterham to make the decision because they want him to the second seat and they are pressuring the sponsors to fill the money gap that's is between paydriver and him...but he also said it's doesn't look good for him to get it.

#5 olliek88

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 17:50

If it was a case of pure speed/ability then Heikki should get the seat but thats not how it works, as we all know. I expect it to be Petrov or Senna with my money on Vitaly.

#6 Szoelloe

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 17:51

No driver is the future of any team of the status of Caterham, if you want to rank them on the basis of abilities and attributes. They should sign whomever pays more, and gives them decent feedback.

#7 Rosberg

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 17:58

Have Vitaly Petrov as the other driver for Caterham with either Razia or Van Der Garde being the test driver and do what Williams did with Bottas.

#8 Arska

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 18:35

Heikki was better than Vitali in 2012, but because Vitali would bring money, he's a better choice for the team. I'm just wondering if there's some dark horse that will surprise us all in the end.

#9 Rosberg

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 18:44

Heikki was better than Vitali in 2012, but because Vitali would bring money, he's a better choice for the team. I'm just wondering if there's some dark horse that will surprise us all in the end.


Narain Karthikeyan ;)


#10 William Hunt

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 19:20

Jerôme d'Ambrosio is also still in talks with Caterham but doubt he stands much chance.
Maybe Jaime Alguersuari is also still talking to them?

Edited by William Hunt, 11 January 2013 - 19:20.


#11 tarmac

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 20:30

Kovalainen saying caterham trying to get more money from current sponsors so he could stay in Autosport Plus

Petrov needs to bring money either way to have chance

#12 Rosberg

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 20:34

Kovalainen had a contract offer from Caterham in the summer didn't he? But he waited for bigger teams to offer him a contract.

Correct me if I'm wrong :)

#13 olliek88

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 20:37

Kovalainen had a contract offer from Caterham in the summer didn't he? But he waited for bigger teams to offer him a contract.

Correct me if I'm wrong :)


Nothing had officially been offered i don't think but they had agreed that they both wanted to sign a new deal and it was being drawn up but then Singapore happened and it got put on hold due to the likelihood that they needed extra funding.

EDIT: From Heikki himself -

Since Singapore things have been a bit more complicated with Caterham. I almost had an offer on the table from them, and then the talks got more difficult – the fact that we were potentially losing money as a team because we lost 10th position there to Marussia was a big factor.


Edited by olliek88, 11 January 2013 - 20:39.


#14 Anderis

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 21:22

Jerôme d'Ambrosio is also still in talks with Caterham but doubt he stands much chance.

I would love to see him with Caterham! I remember he was very good at nursing his tyres in GP2. That could work good with Pirelli tyres. He was also about as good as Glock in terms of race pace at Marussia, which went rather unnoticed.

If there is a driver I want to get a proper chance, it's d'Ambrosio for sure. Perhaps this proper chance would include a car capable of scoring points, which is unlikely with Caterham this year, but Caterham is far better than nothing,

But if Petrov can manage a sponsorship package as good as he has potential to get, he seems to be the best avaliable package for Caterham. But TBH, for me it seems like the team is focusing on 2014 and 2013 will be a bit of write-off season. Therefore even Ma Qing Hua could be the right choice if he edges other pay-drivers in terms of budget he can bring to the team. 2014 is a big chance for Caterham to join the current midfield. But they need to focus on it, and additional money could help a lot.
However, they can be in threat of losing 10th in WCC from Marussia, and it would bring perhaps more loss than the difference between any two pay-drivers in terms of money. So Petrov seems to be the best choice as a competent driver with decent sponsorship backing.

#15 InSearchOfThe

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:22

Continuity is the name of the game with inconsistant tire wear scenarios.
Heikki or Petrov fit the bill.
I'd prefer HK because of experience.

#16 Meanbeakin

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:27

I'd take Bruno's cash for 2013, use it to build for 2014 which will be a real chance for them with the new rules to leap up the grid.

In saying that I expect (And think he deserves it) Petrov will be retained.

Edited by Meanbeakin, 12 January 2013 - 02:28.


#17 olliek88

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:08

I would love to see him with Caterham! I remember he was very good at nursing his tyres in GP2. That could work good with Pirelli tyres. He was also about as good as Glock in terms of race pace at Marussia, which went rather unnoticed.


Jerome was mediocre, at best. He was never "as good as Glock in terms of race pace" either. Glock comfortably beat Jerome.

http://www.f1fanatic...011-form-guide/

Edited by olliek88, 12 January 2013 - 10:09.


#18 The Kanisteri

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 14:07

I don't like paydrivers much, so only option is Heikki Kovalainen.

From rest of the list Vitali Petrov would be best option, due his performance in last GP made team get pass Marussia. He earnt it.

#19 Nustang70

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 19:41

Voted Petrov, if he brings some sponsorship. Senna or VdG wouldn't be bad either, if they have way more sponsorship than Petrov.

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#20 BoschKurve

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 20:05

How good is Petrov on the technical side of things?

#21 Mauseri

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 21:00

I can understand replacing Kovalainen, I don't think he would have motivation to push much more at the back of the grid. The situation would be different if Caterham had progressed to midfield as they had hoped, but being stuck to being solid third worst team there is not much difference a driver could make. And Kovalainen did not make that much difference.

#22 Rybo

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:16

I can understand replacing Kovalainen, I don't think he would have motivation to push much more at the back of the grid. The situation would be different if Caterham had progressed to midfield as they had hoped, but being stuck to being solid third worst team there is not much difference a driver could make. And Kovalainen did not make that much difference.


I really like Kovy, but he isn't that good. Solid midfield driver, yes. Deserving of a better car, yes. At the end of the day though, he was gifted an opportunity at McLaren and he failed to capitalize. Then with the F1 climate shifting to pay drivers, he should have followed and found sponsors to get a better seat. Hindsight will always be 20/20 and its sad to see a driver of his calibre sitting on the sidelines/being a back marker, but life and F1 moves on. The bottom 3 teams have to make drastic moves to take the fight to the mid-field teams and maybe fresh blood will help bring them along.

The big question I think is will Caterham settle for a inexperienced, but well backed driver. The thing I admired about Caterham is that they were concerned about the racing, not the money. But reality has sunk in with the demise of HRT, that they need cash to make progress into the midfield.

#23 hippie

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:47

The big question I think is will Caterham settle for a inexperienced, but well backed driver. The thing I admired about Caterham is that they were concerned about the racing, not the money. But reality has sunk in with the demise of HRT, that they need cash to make progress into the midfield.

Mike Gascoyne told Crash.net that Caterham F1 aims to maintain their position as a tenth place team. In the long term (5-10 yrs) they want to become a solid midfield team (5th-8th in the WCC). So it looks like Caterham won't be chasing the midfield in the near future.

At the moment Caterham Group spends a lot of money in designing and building new Caterham road cars. The Caterham F1 team needs to make do with less money, and that's why it's necessary for the drivers to bring sponsor money. When the new Caterham road cars become available and start to sell, then the F1 team can get better funding. But right now Caterham road cars seem to be the priority for Caterham Group, not Caterham F1.

#24 rijole1

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 13:39

Caterham is a bit of disapointment.
It seems that they used Kovalainen's experience to build up the team and now they are throwing him out.
I highly doubt Heikki is going to get the seat.
Their behaviour may damage their reputation and in the future they may end as a typical paydriver team which never reaches the midfield.

Maybe it is so as you hippie say - the F1 team will att the moment act only as advertisement for the roadcar division.

It would not surprise if they lose their 10th place next year with their paydriver solutions.
Not much of good publicity for their roadcars in that case...


#25 Rybo

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:38

Mike Gascoyne told Crash.net that Caterham F1 aims to maintain their position as a tenth place team. In the long term (5-10 yrs) they want to become a solid midfield team (5th-8th in the WCC). So it looks like Caterham won't be chasing the midfield in the near future.

At the moment Caterham Group spends a lot of money in designing and building new Caterham road cars. The Caterham F1 team needs to make do with less money, and that's why it's necessary for the drivers to bring sponsor money. When the new Caterham road cars become available and start to sell, then the F1 team can get better funding. But right now Caterham road cars seem to be the priority for Caterham Group, not Caterham F1.


Now is this time to push though, as the regs are staying fairly constant which brings the pack together.

#26 Brother Fox

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:16

If Caterham chose Petrov or Senna over Kova then its clear to me they are just chasing money and not really interested in putting top drivers in their cars. As such Id then categorise them with HRT and wont shed a tear when they cease to exist.

Kova and Glock is what separates Caterham/Marussia from HRT.

Im not fan of Kova and I dont dislike Petrov or Senna but thats how I see it.


#27 Ragingjamaican

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:27

I think Petrov should get it.

He seems motivated, he may have been poor in 2010, but he's improved quite a bit from then, was matching Heidfeld before he got dropped, beat Senna despite a few problems, and was doing well against Kovalainen.

I also find him exciting to watch, but he's going to be at the back of the grid so he's not going to do much there.

He has money and he's solid.

The rest aren't that great apart from Kovalainen.

Kovalainen must feel demotivated as the team aren't making much progress to the rest, and Marussia are now catching up with them, and to that, his performances apart from in 2011 and his debut season, haven't been that great at all.

#28 Meanbeakin

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:36

If Caterham chose Petrov or Senna over Kova then its clear to me they are just chasing money and not really interested in putting top drivers in their cars. As such Id then categorise them with HRT and wont shed a tear when they cease to exist.

Kova and Glock is what separates Caterham/Marussia from HRT.

Im not fan of Kova and I dont dislike Petrov or Senna but thats how I see it.


This seems a strange attitude considering Petrov matched Kovalainen in 2012.

Having backing doesn't instantly make you a crap driver, conversely not having backing doesn't instantly make you an awesome driver. Kovaleinen and Glock have the results they due to the drives they got (McLaren and Toyota respectively).

#29 hippie

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:56

Mike Gascoyne gives a hint in his Sky Sports interview that the second Caterham driver will probably be a young guy.

Razia? Van der Garde?

#30 matthewf1

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 13:37

Caterham need money - they should go with whoever brings the most. Kovalainen may be the best driver in the poll on this thread, but the reality is he's the best of a bad bunch. He's not exactly Vettel or Alonso. They need money to move forward, so basically this is a seat auction.

#31 Sanman59

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 15:27

It looks as though Kovalainen is definately out

http://www.yallaf1.c...laims-gascoyne/


It looks as though Petrov still cannot confirm his budget.

http://www.yallaf1.c...admits-manager/


Expect that it will be Senna, given he apparently has the highest confirmed budget.

:cry:

#32 Risil

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 15:46

Senna's not a bad driver at Caterham probably need the money. However I'd like to see Razia get the drive. He hasn't done F1 before and after the quality of last year's GP2 field has been brought into question by absolutely everyone, it'd be interesting to see how its protagonists measure up.

Edited by Risil, 14 January 2013 - 15:46.


#33 Tonka

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 16:14

How many chances has Kovalainen had already? Time for him to move on.



#34 WhatOh

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 20:19

http://en.rsport.ru/.../639529554.html

Not looking too good for Petrov, if this is to be believed.

#35 Ferras

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 20:53

^That would be a shame IMO

Edited by Ferras, 14 January 2013 - 20:53.


#36 onewingedangel

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 21:11

If Caterham want to be the Renault works team, having a pairing of Pic and Senna would allow for quite considerable marketing benefits in a number of markets.

Senna is a decent driver - on the same level or perhaps better than Petrov, brings sponsorship, is media savvy and could open up the South American market for Renault and Caterham.

He may not be the best driver available, but I believe he would be the best for the future of Caterham.

#37 William Hunt

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 21:23

Russia is also a very important market for sponsors, including Renault.

#38 lustigson

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:31

I guess Kovalainen is on paper the best choice. However, if Petrov brings a wad of rubles, he's a fine bet as well. Senna is a third option, but the other 2 have the advantage of having some continuity in the driver line-up, which is often considered to be important.

#39 Reinmuster

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 15:18

I think Caterham should maintained what they have now (retain Kovalainen) and start thinking about 2014, if it's true that they more concern about their road car for the time being.




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#40 One

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 21:40

Heikki, who else? he drove for Mclare, OK, was not too successful but what Caterham needs is more knowledge.
Besides, caterham team needs to be more focused on how to accumulate knowledge to win races.
Q1. Williams got the prof and Mike and went up. have they broght money?
Q2. Was there any significant performance differences between Heikki or Petrov?
Q3. After so many years in GP 2, have any of the candidates brought a sugnificant success which made the team convince that the performance differences to be accumulated for the 2014?

IMHO
A1. No. But after a year, they made the difference.
A2. No, not much tho there was a bit of differences at the end of the season. could be a luck for Petrov, Heikki has other good points.
A3. no.

I hate to say I know too little about the potential of Pic.
I personally opted to go with Heikkia dn Petrov for one more year as there was too little differences in all direction, 2014 preparation must have been much more effective when nothing else changed but the design.
Caterham goes nowhere in 2013, that is what I say, they will end behind Marussia according to me. Pat Simon is a wolf.

#41 One

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 21:40

Heikki, who else? he drove for Mclare, OK, was not too successful but what Caterham needs is more knowledge.
Besides, caterham team needs to be more focused on how to accumulate knowledge to win races.
Q1. Williams got the prof and Mike and went up. have they broght money?
Q2. Was there any significant performance differences between Heikki or Petrov?
Q3. After so many years in GP 2, have any of the candidates brought a sugnificant success which made the team convince that the performance differences to be accumulated for the 2014?

IMHO
A1. No. But after a year, they made the difference.
A2. No, not much tho there was a bit of differences at the end of the season. could be a luck for Petrov, Heikki has other good points.
A3. no.

I hate to say I know too little about the potential of Pic.
I personally opted to go with Heikkia dn Petrov for one more year as there was too little differences in all direction, 2014 preparation must have been much more effective when nothing else changed but the design.
Caterham goes nowhere in 2013, that is what I say, they will end behind Marussia according to me. Pat Simon is a wolf.

#42 One

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 21:45

If Caterham want to be the Renault works team, having a pairing of Pic and Senna would allow for quite considerable marketing benefits in a number of markets.


Oh dear... oh dear... Caterham WANTS to be the WORKS RENAULT?
Ask Mr.G if he wants to re invest in formula one business... Oh,... .... .... Sorry but IMHO this idea is truly hopeless...

#43 onewingedangel

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 22:07

Oh dear... oh dear... Caterham WANTS to be the WORKS RENAULT?
Ask Mr.G if he wants to re invest in formula one business... Oh,... .... .... Sorry but IMHO this idea is truly hopeless...


How much does Renault invest in their current 'works' team, Red Bull?

How much did they invest in Benetton prior to 2003?

Being the primary partner of the engine manufacturer doesn't require a shedload of cash from the manufacturer - could be subsidised or free engines, could be additional technical support.

#44 One

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 22:19

How much does Renault invest in their current 'works' team, Red Bull?

How much did they invest in Benetton prior to 2003?

Being the primary partner of the engine manufacturer doesn't require a shedload of cash from the manufacturer - could be subsidised or free engines, could be additional technical support.


Renault has had own works team previously and now not and Red Bull is not the Renault Works team, Sorry I took your 'works' statement too literal may be. I now think you mean the team with Renault engine with the most attentions given.
Renault is GONE from formula one as the works team. Caterham will not be the one to change name to Renault if Renault would wan to be back in Formula One racing at this point. Obviously Red Bull Racing is more impressive and Lotus is now climbing up the grid. Silly thing is that Caterham played well to push identity against Mr.X years a go, but now the result is not following. And the team will not beat Lotus in 2013, I assume neither 2014. I wonder if you agree, if the cars are driven by Charles Pic and Guido van der Garde. Lotus has Kimi Raikkonen and that Swiss French quick boy.

Best Choice of Catherham? Chose from the names listed? Sorry I am lost... caterham will be beaten by Marussia in 2013, if you ask me.

Edited by One, 16 January 2013 - 22:21.


#45 One

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 22:32

http://www.autosport...t.php/id/105148

This is a confirmation to my resut prediciotn ...

#46 onewingedangel

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 22:36

Renault has had own works team previously and now not and Red Bull is not the Renault Works team, Sorry I took your 'works' statement too literal may be. I now think you mean the team with Renault engine with the most attentions given.


I use the term 'works' as a factory supported team - Benetton were both Ford and Renaults works team at various points, Sauber were Mercedes and Ford works team. McLaren have been Honda and Mercedes works team. Stewart was the Ford works team. BAR the Honda works team.

Sometimes these partnerships led to a full factory effort (Renault, Jaguar, Honda) - othertimes not.

#47 TheUltimateWorrier

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 22:42

How much does Renault invest in their current 'works' team, Red Bull?

How much did they invest in Benetton prior to 2003?

Being the primary partner of the engine manufacturer doesn't require a shedload of cash from the manufacturer - could be subsidised or free engines, could be additional technical support.

Exactly, especially as they sent one of their guys, Cyril, to Caterham.

Caterham's main problem is very similar to QPR, imo, in that they've expected and promised too much too soon yet haven't delivered. Last summer QPR bought an entire new team and wonder why they're languishing in the relegation zone. Didn't Caterham change their location last year, so they're kind of playing catch-up I imagine. I think that three or fours years down the line they could be fighting for wins, but they expected to competing with the likes of Williams and Toro Rosso way too soon.

I always go on about him :lol: but had he not foolishly ruled out going to a lower team, I think Kamui would have been a good fit. Him or Petrov, as they would bring money and are capable of exceptional drives every so often. Bruno Senna is just to anonymous, he's solid but hasn't produced a race performance that exceeds those two, imo. If the car is cack again, however good he is, I can't see the point of Heikki if he brings no money.

#48 One

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 22:55

I use the term 'works' as a factory supported team - Benetton were both Ford and Renaults works team at various points, Sauber were Mercedes and Ford works team. McLaren have been Honda and Mercedes works team. Stewart was the Ford works team. BAR the Honda works team.

Sometimes these partnerships led to a full factory effort (Renault, Jaguar, Honda) - othertimes not.


Yes I understand now.

But still... Renault wil put more efforts in Red bull or Lotus at this point. As Infinity and Renault seems to cook their games there at the Red bull Racing branding, I might say that eventually Lotus will take the attention... After all they were Renault Factory team. Caterham... Not sure... Sorry, you might be right... but I do not see this happening.