Caterham Formula 1

Caterham F1 Team ready for one last dance

2014 Singapore Grand Prix

“The Caterham F1 Team is delighted to announce that it will be racing at the final Formula 1 Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi next week thanks to the support of the fans, who have helped the team raise enough money to make it possible through Crowdcube, the world’s leading investment crowdfunding platform.”

So reads an announcement on the Caterham F1 Team website. At least Bernie will be happy his F1 fans can afford to pay for an F1 team, even if its for one race only.

Caterham’s appearance in Abu Dhabi will be in contrast to the fact the team has made its 230 staff redundant. Apparently that move has been done with the staff’s blessing so that they may commence formal claims, assuming a buyer cannot be found. No wages have been paid at Caterham since 30 September.

Kamui Kobayashi will drive one of the cars in Abu Dhabi, but former teammate Marucs Ericsson, armed with the security of a job in 2015, has told Caterham to bugger off.

So, too, has Andre Lotterer, who drove for Caterham in Spa earlier this year.

That leaves reserve driver Roberto Mehri claiming the drive is his and he has a contract to prove it. Haha, kids these days.

Good luck to Caterham in Abu Dhabi. But really, what a mess!

[Source: Autosport]

Caterham Formula 1

Le Mans winner Lotterer to join Caterham

Andre Lotterer

Three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner André Lotterer will replace Kamui Kobayashi at the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend. At this stage the 32-year-old German has been given one race to impress in Formula 1 and Kobayashi will remain on Caterham’s driving roster.

Lotterer, known for his role with the Audi LMP1 program, has driven a Formula 1 car in the past, although not for some time having previously been the official Jaguar test driver back in 2002.

“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to take part in a Formula One race weekend,” Lotterer said. “I want to thank Caterham F1 Team for this chance. I’m ready for this challenge and I cannot wait to jump in the car and make the most out of the weekend ahead.

“I will need to get settled and used to the car quickly, as the team has worked on a number of updates and we will need to have as much time as possible out on track to optimise the car’s performance.

“I really enjoy racing at the legendary circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, it’s one of my favourite tracks and it’s very close to where I grew up, so this makes the weekend even more special and one to remember.”

It has been rare in recent years for drivers to move into F1 from sports car racing and it could be a difficult weekend for Lotterer at Caterham, a team which has struggled for consistent results so far in 2014.

Caterham Formula 1

2014 Caterham CT05 revealed

2014 Caterham CT05

Caterham unveiled its 2014 F1 car, the CT05, in Jerez overnight a little later than scheduled. Due to be presented in the morning some technical problems delayed the launch until the afternoon.

As you can see the CT05 adds to the controversial nose deisgns and this one is perhaps the most rudimentary yet, being pretty much a cylinder stuck on the end of the higher nose.

F1 rookie Marcus Ericsson was in the car for the opening day of testing in Jerez and on a day where most teams had limited running the young Swede only managed to register a single installation lap.

“We obviously won’t know really where we are until quali in Australia, and one installation lap on day one isn’t going to tell us a lot about the car,” said Ericsson. “But to have got that first lap out of the way and on to day two is a good feeling, and, for me, a positive way to start my life as an F1 driver.”

And what does Marcus think of the aesthetics of his first Formula 1 car?

“People either love it or hate it, but for me it’s not really important what it looks like, as what counts is how quick it is,” Ericsson quipped. “If it’s fast then I really don’t care if it’s the worst looking thing out there, if it’s slow but beautiful then what’s the point of that?”

More from Caterham after the break, including a link to the team’s 2014 press kit.

Formula 1

Kobayashi and Ericsson get Caterham call up

Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson

The absence of the popular Kamui Kobayashi from Formula 1 is over with confirmation the 27-year-old will race for Caterham in 2014. He will be joined by 23-year-old Swede Marcus Ericsson.

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to bring Kamui back,” said Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal and CEO, Caterham F1 Team. “He is a very popular driver and it’s very good for the whole team that we’ve been able to attract such an exciting driver to join us at a critical point in our development.

“His pace speaks for itself and his extensive experience of developing cars, particularly in his years with Toyota, will be incredibly important for us as we tackle one of the most challenging seasons F1 has ever embarked upon.”

Ericsson will make his F1 debut after progressing from GP2. As you’d expect he has a history of success in the junior categories and first tested an F1 car with Brawn GP back in 2009. He’s the first Swede to race in F1 since Stefan Johansson in 1991.

“He [Ericsson] started his single-seater career by winning Formula BMW UK in 2007 and rose through the ranks to GP2,” Abiteboul added. “Last year he won in Germany, scored two poles, three fastest laps and five podiums.

“He’s physically and mentally prepared for what lies ahead, and he will have all the support we can give him across the team to help him fulfil his obvious potential in Formula One.”

Robert Frijns and Alexander Rossi will be Caterham’s F1 reserve drivers. Rossi will double up his duties with Caterham during the 2014 GP2 season, where he will be joined by Rio Haryanto.

Caterham’s full statement can be read below.

Ferrari Formula 1

On board with Kamui in Moscow

Kamuo Kobacrashi

Kudos to Ferrari for releasing onboard video footage of Kamui Kobayashi’s recent exploits in Moscow. It’s warts and all and nothing has been edited out.

Ferrari Formula 1

Kobayashi hopes there’s no barrier to F1 return

Kamui Kobayashi crashes in Moscow

Kamui Kobayashi was the driver chosen to represent the Ferrari at the annual Moscow City Racing event held over the weekend. He was at the wheel of a 2009-spec F60 and in the wet conditions, well, things didn’t quite go to plan.

You can see an unofficial video after the break showing Kamui hitting the barrier. Ferrari’s Corse Clienti crew had a spare car prepared within 20 minutes enabling the Japanese driver to get back out on track and impress the fans.

“The track was very slippery and there was a marked bump at that point, which is why I hit the barrier,” Kobayshi said. “A shame, but I am pleased the team let me out again after a few minutes.”

Despite his bruised ego Kobayashi, who has been racing for Ferrari in the FIA World Endurance Championship, says he still remains hopeful of a return to F1 in 2014. And while you always need to be mindful of physical barriers in motorsport, Kamui says there may be some financial barriers he has to overcome.

“At the moment, there are many teams who prefer to choose their drivers based on how much money they can bring, rather than on their ability on track,” he said. “I hope this trend will change, because my aim is to be back there as soon as possible and I am working hard to succeed.

“Meanwhile, all I can do is give my all to Ferrari in the GT races and be available to the team for whatever they want me to do, such as events like this, or when they ask me to help with the development of the car by working on the simulator.”

We’ve got some official pics and statements to follow Kamui’s unfortunate accident.