Caterham believes 2012 efforts made it fall behind Marussia in 2013

Caterham fell behind Marussia in the 2013 Formula 1 season because it overstretched itself a year earlier, reckons team boss Cyril Abiteboul

Caterham believes 2012 efforts made it fall behind Marussia in 2013

Having led F1's tail-end pack since being part of 2010's influx of new teams, Caterham was beaten to 10th in the constructors' championship by Marussia this year, and was outpaced by its arch-rival in the first half of the season as well.

Abiteboul admitted Caterham's 2012 mistakes had left it unable to prepare a proper new car for this year and too far behind to catch up.

"It started last year when the team pursued some form of technical strategy that I honestly believe we could not afford in terms of sophistication, in terms of understanding of certain processes and so on and so forth," Abiteboul told AUTOSPORT.

"The problem is that not only that we pursued that, but we pursued that for a while. So for us it was a hit for last year and a hit for this year.

"Also last year we changed factory, which means putting a stop to everything we are doing.

"We also invested more to the windtunnel because we had a windtunnel that was not capable of producing a blowing exhaust and yet we were developing a blowing exhaust.

"We were not capable given last year's season and what we had done to invest into a new car - from both a financial perspective and a time and resource perspective.

"Last year was not fantastic, no one will remember Caterham's car last year, and using it for two years... you see the result."

He also thinks the team was complacent about its chances of beating Marussia, which secured 10th thanks to the 13th place Jules Bianchi took in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

"Maybe naively we were thinking that we had enough time after the Malaysia race to recover 10th place," said Abiteboul.

"Even though it is a long season, it is a long season where people were reliable, there have been no funny races, and there is no magic in motorsport any more.

"The championship was decided at the third race, which was a bit strange. But that is life."

shares
comments
Alain Prost: Formula 1 will never become an electric car series
Previous article

Alain Prost: Formula 1 will never become an electric car series

Next article

Race of my life: Jean Alesi

Race of my life: Jean Alesi
Load comments
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022