F1 » Caterham 'let Kovalainen down'

Caterham team boss Cyril Abiteboul says his squad 'let Heikki Kovalainen down' after failing to give him a car that could fight for F1 points finishes

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oldtimer - Unregistered

February 11, 2013 11:07 AM

Caterham are not going anywhere especially with pay drivers, the likelyhood is that Marussia and Caterham will leave F1 in the next 18 months or so because they simply do not have the money to keep up let alone catch up those in front of them. With several other mid field teams also with money troubles the likelyhood is that F1 will be reduced to 7 or 8 teams unless Bernie can find a way of conning some more to come in. Either way the outlook for F1 is bleak. The rich rule and will continue to do so until smeone has the balls to sort out the cost reduction schemes that were discussed.


February 11, 2013 11:15 AM

It strikes me as daft to get rid of your best driver and then admit he was let down by factors out of his control. Cyril Abiteboul, since you have identified the problem, please prune out the dead wood further up the chain.

sodesu - Unregistered

February 11, 2013 11:36 AM

To be fair to him that's what he's implying is going on behind the scenes. I read this kind of as an apology to Heikki - realistically, if the people behind the scenes had been delivering then they wouldn't have been in a position where they had to drop Heikki for a pay driver. Now it's up to Abiteboul as the new team manager to make the necessary changes so they get themselves sorted and then avoid this situation in the future. Whether he can do that before the investors lose their interest remains to be seen...

oldbiker - Unregistered

February 11, 2013 11:41 AM

I agree with Oldtimer. Yet another team with a high profile boss with some business success and an ego to match, who thought it would be easy to get into F1 and be scooping up the rewards for point scoring. Look at Force India for a similar scenario.

Of course, as with HRT, someone may come along, buy up the remains and create another grid filler, but does that do the sport any good in the long run?

Arguably 16 cars fighting for position may be better than 20 or 22 cars with 6 backmarkers only seen when lapped. Or even, as Ferrari want, a third car option for each team, although what price the tiresome Bernie would want for this is anyone's guess.


February 11, 2013 11:52 AM

Think it's all been said above.

Owning an F1 team and a premiership team seems to be a todger waving exercise for some rather than a genuine love of the sport, look how rich I am, I've got a premiership team.

The bubble has yet to burst in the EPL but F1 is going back to small grids again, I do do feel some sympathy for these teams as they thought they were joining under a much more cost effective business model and were pretty much screwed from day one.


February 11, 2013 11:55 AM

when malaysia f1 was formed, fernandes said that they were deliberately going with experienced drivers so as to give them their best chance of improving their car. now they hae gotten rid of jarno, petrov and kovi. and are left with pic as their "best " driver. i cannot see how they can hope to progress with their current inexperienced line-up.
it is all about the money!
surly if they now admit that they failed kovi, then the best move would have been to retain him and not to fail him this year?
kovi deserved so much better. maybe the possiblity of being pirelli tester, will allow him an opening for a better seat in 2014?

ritzy - Unregistered

February 11, 2013 11:57 AM

surely this is the time consider a three car option...the economy of scale works in its favour, also it would allow new sponsors to join the established teams who seem to have no issue in finding money!

Perhaps the main problem is a certain Mr Ecclestone, if the rules allow for the third car to have different branding and they must run a driver with no more than a years GP experience or have been a test driver maybe this provides a possible solution!

as someone who over the years has raised sponsorship (Cadbury Boost Team) i understand the challenges, but I also understand that sponsors like winners....food for thought. Ritzy.

Texas Roadhouse

February 11, 2013 12:06 PM

Cyril - why not put HK into the car for one of the Barcelona tests and see what he can do with the car...could easily be a one-off deal, and would give them a visible baseline on the car, and on their current drivers.....

Kovalainen's omission from the grid does seem to be something of a shock to the industry - it might just be the "wake-up" call F1 needs to put the house in order.

John C - Unregistered

February 11, 2013 12:41 PM

Yeah, just like Mercs let Schumi down too. Trulli just said he didnt think the car was going to be any good for 2012 and blamed that on his leaving (or stepping-aside for Petrov). I've said it before, but after the loss of the Lotus name and the rebranding as caterham, they should have cut their losses and gone into sportscars which would have made more sense. They're in a hole now.. 2 "iffy" drivers & almost no chance of points/exposure. At least Kovi had the media onside and got the team a lot of coverage/interest. Too late now...

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