Out of luck before they’d begun
Oh dear. It’s all fallen apart. The green and yellow. The Team Lotus history. Mike Gascoyne. The drivers-on-merit. The rent-a-drivers. The Caterham connection. The money from Malaysia. All gone.
The reality is that Caterham have gone backwards this year, despite the talents of Kamui Kobayashi and GP2-quick Marcus Ericsson, who managed last winter to nd extensive commercial backing from Sweden. Listening to Marcus downshifting for any given corner gives the game away. He’s so unsure of what the back end is going to do that he frequently selects a lower gear than necessary purely to keep the car in line. It’s painful to hear, but is presumably a product of the car’s chronic lack of stability in the brake-by-wire department. Which is a shame, because no one likes to see drivers of this calibre struggling. I still think Kamui could play a strong support role in a decent team – Williams, for example, or Toro Rosso – and we shouldn’t dismiss drivers as quick as Ericsson when they do manage to hook a sponsor. Given the way F1 continues to provide little or no TV exposure for the midfield or lower teams, however, it’s now entirely up to the drivers to find the sponsorship.
What the next incarnation of Caterham will be like remains to be seen. Probably, it will be leaner, the money more secure, the debt lower. Caterham were conceived in 2009 as a budget-cap team. Perhaps at last we’ll start to see some sensible organic growth.