Caterham: F1 drivers who refuse to contribute 'almost irresponsible'

Caterham boss Cyril Abiteboul says Formula 1 drivers who refuse outright to help bring in sponsorship for teams are "almost irresponsible."

Caterham: F1 drivers who refuse to contribute 'almost irresponsible'

He emphasised that he was not demanding that all F1 drivers paid for their seats, but reckons racers have a duty to help their teams in the current economic climate.

"For me drivers are just an extra assistance to see those commercial opportunities that can be generated either by them or us," Abiteboul told AUTOSPORT.

"It is not that you have paying drivers or non paying drivers.

"Some drivers have made it very public - and it annoys us - that they will not make any form of contribution, which honestly I do not like because everyone is making a contribution.

"For instance Fernando [Alonso] and some of the sponsors who have been believing in him and following him since the start of his career.

"Almost all the drivers have a feeling that there must be some form of contribution that they make beyond their sporting duties.

"That is why drivers saying 'I am not a paying driver, I don't want to be one of those', is almost irresponsible because we are investing massive money to create value around those people and around those drivers.

"So for me it is only fair that drivers do make a contribution, not [necessarily] a financial contribution, but at least assist and create opportunities for the teams to generate value.

"It is a bit more complex than people tend to sometimes summarise. Yes, we will be expecting that the drivers help, but not necessarily by bringing money."

CATERHAM 'EXTREMELY ATTRACTIVE' FOR SPONSORS

When Caterham started in F1 as Team Lotus in 2010, it paid salaries to race-winning drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli.

Its 2013 drivers Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic's deals both had commercial elements.

Abiteboul admitted that Caterham faced a difficult financial situation going into the 2014 rule change having lost 10th place in the constructors' championship to Marussia, but was optimistic about its sponsorship prospects.

"We have a season that is going to be more expensive, we have prize money that is going down, we have expectations to move up the grid," he said.

"There is still a lot of interest for what we are, as a project.

"The Caterham project is something that is extremely attractive and actually I am very positively surprised by the interest that is generated and the belief that people continue to have in us, even after four years.

"That is why it is important to deliver. With just a little bit more performance, we will have fantastic commercial opportunities."

shares
comments
Statistics: F1's most successful numbers through the ages

Previous article

Statistics: F1's most successful numbers through the ages

Next article

Top drivers skip F1 tyre test, Ferrari calls up de la Rosa, Bianchi

Top drivers skip F1 tyre test, Ferrari calls up de la Rosa, Bianchi
Load comments
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021