Caterham F1 Team Principal Tony Fernandes says that the team still targeting tenth place in the constructors’ championship once more. The Business magnate Tony Fernandes’ re-branded Caterham F1 team (previously known Lotus F1) there was even more reason for cheers from the grandstands, despite the team’s slow start to their third season of F1 fight. Fernandes, however, maintains they’ll be making inroads on the midfield soon, as he explained exclusively to Formula1.com.
“The goal for mid-season is the same as it is for the whole year ahead,” Fernandes said. “We know what is achievable, and breaking into the midfield is a huge challenge, so the reasonable target is tenth again.
The ‘stretch’ target – what we want to push everyone to achieve – is to be fighting in the midfield pack and when you look back to the pace we showed in Australia that is not beyond the realms of possibility.
“Looking at the data comparisons between where we were last year and where we have started 2012, it is evident that we have improved. Only a couple of teams have found time and we are one of them.
“We wanted to bring in some new talent, and Vitaly has proven to be an incredibly good acquisition for the team. He is quick, he is talented and he has settled in immediately. A few people said to me that he was quite quiet, but the opposite has proven to be true.
He is hungry, he is very eager to keep proving he has the talent to mix it at the top and he has a great sense of humour. He has brought new energy to his side of the garage and we are all delighted he is with us.”
Asked regarding the FOTA – Caterham is still a member of the teams’ association. Can you explain your reasoning for still being involved? To the outsider, it might appear there is an element of mistrust, even among the remaining members…
“I am not sure that it is true to say everybody mistrusts each other. On the sporting side, teams will always challenge interpretations of the rules when it looks like another team may have found an advantage, and that is part of the sport.”Tony said.
“At a wider level FOTA still represents eight teams, from all levels of the grid, and we play an active role in that group in everything it does. Whatever issues we may have at an individual level are put to one side within the framework of FOTA and that is just good business practice. What I do want to see is the sport reducing costs. The teams should be profitable and there should be more business-minded people throughout the paddock making sure this sport focuses its energies in the right areas.” He added.
“We need petrol heads to run the engineering side of F1, but we also need more marketers, people who understand that this is a show, people who can put themselves in the mind set of the fans and push forward decisions about the way the sport benefits the fans, not the engineers and the teams. We also need to have a clear set of regulations, with no discrepancy on what is and is not allowed. The rules need to be laid out in black and white so we can stop the discussions about technical regulations that do nothing to improve the show.”
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