15 October 2014
F1: Caterham F1 boss: We didn’t leave team in critical status
Manfredi Ravetto: We are on a high even if there are a few negative comments or scepticism from some people who would be happy to see us failing...
Manfredi Ravetto has hit back at the 'negative comments and scepticism' levelled at Caterham since its change of ownership in July, the team principal insisting his outfit is performing better now than it was previously.
Caterham changed hands in July with Tony Fernandes exiting the outfit to be replaced by a consortium of investors advised by Colin Kolles, who has previously been involved in F1 with Jordan/Midland/Spyker and HRT.
Since then, the team – which hasn't scored a since its F1 debut in 2010, either in its former Lotus guise or current Caterham incarnation – has not strayed far from the headlines, with job cuts, lawsuits, driver changes and claims that bailiffs had seized items sparking uncertainty over its future.
However, Ravetto, who took on the role of team principal in September when Christijan Albers resigned less than two months into the position, has hit back at the 'misinterpretations' from those he says are happy to see the team fail, insisting the new owners took on a team in a 'critical situation' and has successfully stabilised its finances.
“We are on a high and we keep fighting day after day, even if there are a few negative comments or scepticism from some people who would be happy to see us failing,” he said. “We can live with this, we have no problem at all; what we do is answer with facts, starting with the technical improvement of the car and stabilising of the team's financial side – but we just want to remind everybody that we are those brave ones who try to firefight.
“We are not the ones who left the team in a critical status! I can tolerate misinterpretations on everything except this. And, by the way, we historically seem to be quite successful in contradicting the rumour mill...”
Claiming that Caterham was on the cusp of withdrawing from F1 before it was taken over, Ravetto adds that not only is the team more stable financially, its performances in recent races suggests it is beginning to make in-roads into the competition.
“Knowing that this team, under previous ownership, was due to stop racing before the British Grand Prix, we – the new management – are proud of having completed not only the European season but also the Asian season!
“This gives us confidence to approach the last three fly-away races in America and the Middle-East with an extra-boost: our performance is steadily improving and recent results plus our great qualifying performance in Sochi are putting us on a level the team has hardly shown previously.”
Caterham began the season with Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi, though the latter was replaced by Andre Lotterer for the Belgian Grand Prix, while Roberto Merhi has come on board to complete FP1 driver duties in the last four events.
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