Tag Archives: Caterham

Lotterer To Replace Kobayashi At Spa

Just days before the Belgian Grand Prix, Caterham has announced that André Lotterer will replace Kamui Kobayashi for this Sunday’s race.

Speculation that the German would replace Kobayashi began to build this week and was confirmed through a press release by the team this morning. Kobayashi yesterday tweeted that he was preparing for the Belgium GP, but today tweeted his disappointment at the news.

“I will not drive this week Belgium GP,” Kobayashi said. “It’s shame not to drive spa. And [I] feel sorry for all my supporter but this is Motersports! I hope not!”

The motive behind the decision to replace Kobayashi seems unclear as the former Sauber driver will be back in the cockpit at the Italian Grand Prix. In their press release Caterham offered some explanation to Lotterer’s one-race appointment, saying: “The weather also plays a big role at Spa-Francorchamps and Lotterer is one of the most experienced drivers racing under mixed conditions.”

“The team will benefit from having another experienced driver at the wheel of the car throughout the weekend and the German’s feedback will contribute to improve the performance of the car,” the press release continued, before stressing that “The Japanese driver still remains part of the team.”

Thirty-two year old Lotterer was Jaguar’s test driver in 2002, and has competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. He currently competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship alongside former F1 racers such as Mark Webber, Anthony Davidson, Nick Heidfeld and Sebastien Buemi.

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Caterham Sold

Caterham F1 Team  this afternoon announced that Tony Fernandes has sold Caterham to a consortium of Swiss and Middle-Eastern investors who were advised by former HRT Team Principal Colin Kolles.

The team will continue to operate as Caterham F1 Team from its factory in Leafield.

Former Minardi and Spyker driver Christijan Albers will be in charge of the day-to-day running of the team, while Cyril Abiteboul, the former Team Principal, will leave the team.

“We are aware of the huge challenge ahead of us given the fight at the bottom end of the Championship,” Chrstijan Albers said. “Our target now is to aim for tenth place in the 2014 Championship. We are very committed to the future of the team and we will ensure that the team has the necessary resources to develop and grow and achieve everything it is capable of.”   

Rumours have surrounded the sale of Caterham for several months and speculation increased following a series of cryptic tweets from Caterham owner Tony Fernandes who tweeted “F1 didn’t work” before deleting his account.

Caterham lost out to rivals Marussia when the team, who joined F1 alongside Caterham and the now-dead HRT team in 2010, scored their first points at the Monaco Grand Prix in May.

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Kobayashi Aims To ‘Fight Back’ In Monaco

Kamui Kobayashi says he is aiming to ‘fight back’ at the next Grand Prix in Monaco.

The Caterham driver was reflecting on the Spanish Grand Prix which saw him retire with a brakes failure to round-out a “difficult weekend” for the 27-year-old. Caterham were far off the pace of rivals Marussia as news broke that they had replaced their technical director with a committee.

Speaking after the race, Kobayashi described how his car was “a bit of a handful”, but explained that he had still been catching up on Marussia’s Jules Bianchi before his retirement:

“The car felt ok but I still had the same traction issues as we’d had all weekend so it was still a bit of a handful, but the deg levels on the first set of medium tyres that we’d started with were good so we could run a very long first stint, finally boxing on lap 23 for another set of mediums.”

“The car felt better on the second set of tyres and I was able to make up some to Bianchi ahead,” Kobayashi said, “but then on lap 44, I had a pretty scary moment going into turn one when the left front brake failed and I was just able to keep the car out of the wall. That was the end of my race and the end of a difficult weekend.”

Kobayashi then turned his attention to the upcoming two-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya and to Monaco, where he hopes to do better.

“We clearly don’t have the performance we’re targeting, but chances have been made to help us sort this out and the whole team is working harder than ever to make progress, and we have two days of testing here to help us learn more about the new parts we brought to Spain, so we’ll aim to fight back in Monaco next week.”

Marcus Ericsson was hit by Pastor Maldonado on the second lap and he finished in twentieth – last of the finishers.

Image courtesy Caterham F1 Team. 

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VIDEO: Kamui Kobayashi Drives The Caterham 620R At Silverstone

This is definitely one of the perks of being a Formula One driver. In this video, Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi drives the incredible Caterham 620R at Silverstone. I hope, for Kamui’s sake, that this is the company car.

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Ericsson Determined To ‘Come Back Fighting’ After Qualifying Crash

Marcus Ericsson has vowed to ‘come back fighting’ after a crash during Qualifying today.

The Swede got onto the white lines at the exit of turn 3, helplessly spinning into the gravel, hitting the barrier and spinning back onto the track, into the path of Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez who narrowly missed the out-of-control Caterham.

Reflecting on Qualifying, Ericsson pointed out that he had never driven in wet conditions before: “The rain started before quali and we went into the delayed session knowing we’d start on a wet track. That was my first ever wet running in F1, in any session, so from the first lap it was all a new experience for me.

“With every lap I was learning more and more,” he continued. “We made a quick stop with a few minutes left to put on another set of inters, but then on the final quick lap I made a mistake in sector one and crashed. I’m really sorry for the team. They’ve worked so hard all weekend on the problems we’ve had, and now they have another huge job ahead of them to prepare the car for tomorrow, but I know they’ll keep pushing and we’ll all come back fighting tomorrow.

“This has been another big lesson for me – my first wet running in F1, my first Q1 on inters and my first big off – it’s all part of being a rookie in F1 and I will learn from every single thing that happens.”

The team was forced to work on Ericsson’s car last night when an oil leak was discovered after second practice. They were also tasked with stripping and rebuilding Kamui Kobayashi’s car after he suffered an Energy Recovery System (ERS) failure. To read about the action packed Qualifying session this morning, click here.

Image courtesy Caterham F1 Team.

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Kobayashi Apologises To Massa For Crash, But Cleared By Stewards

Kamui Kobayashi has apologised to Felipe Massa following a crash at the first corner of today’s Grand Prix. The Caterham driver locked his front brakes following a rear brake failure caused by a KERS issue, which sent him careering helplessly into Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen first and then the Williams of Felipe Massa, the latter ending up in the gravel with Kobayashi.

Although Massa blasted Kobayashi for braking too late, the Stewards accepted the technical data presented by Caterham which proved the brakes failure on Kobayashi’s car. It’s little consolation for Kamui, however, as he was starting from an impressive fourteenth when he had the accident.

“That isn’t how I wanted my first race back to go, and I’m sorry for the team and for Felipe that both our races ended early,” Kamui said after the race. ” I had a really good start but then into turn one I made contact with Felipe.

“From the initial data it looked like I had a brake system issue which obviously meant I couldn’t do much about the contact and when we got the car back and looked at the information in much more detail it was clear that was the problem. After the race I went to the Stewards and they went through the data from the car and confirmed this was the case. We’ll have a close look at what caused that problem and make sure we fix it.

“It’s been a tough weekend for us, but we still have a lot more data that will help us keep improving, and the really positive thing is that we were still quite competitive, even with the issues we had on Friday. Race two is Malaysia, one of our team’s home races, and we’ll keep pushing there, just as we will all weekend.”

Felipe Massa was the innocent victim of the incident and post-race expressed his disappointed but tried to stay positive: “I’m obviously very disappointed as I had the sort of car capable of challenging for a podium today, but the incident at the first corner ruined my race. I tried to have a calm start and not take any risks, but was hit from behind after Kobayashi braked too late and there was nothing I could do to avoid being taken out of the race.

“It’s a shame but there are a lot of positive things that the team can take from this weekend in terms of pace and reliability, so I’m just thinking about the next race and having a strong result there.”

Kobayashi’s team-mate, Marcus Ericsson, retired later in the race with an oil pressure issue, while Valtteri Bottas survived contact with the wall to finish sixth in the other Williams.

Image courtesy of Caterham F1 Team. 

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Ericsson Ready For F1 Debut

Caterham rookie Marcus Ericsson believes he is ready for his first Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old Swede took one win en route to finishing sixth in the GP2 Championship while racing with DAMS last year, and was subsequently promoted to F1 with Caterham.  Although admitting that one can never be fully prepared for their first race, he and his team are as ready as they will ever be.

“I’ve been working for this chance since I started racing, and now it’s finally coming true, thanks to all the people who’ve supported me, and to the team for giving me this chance. We’ve done everything we can to prepare, but, honestly, I don’t think you can ever prepare for what it’ll feel like in the car, sitting on the grid as the lights go out in my debut race – however, that feeling will go very quickly and I know I’m ready to race.

“Honestly, I cannot wait for it all to start in Australia. It will be my first ever F1 race weekend as a race driver and I’m so excited about my debut season in F1 starting, and in Australia, a country with a lot of F1 history and seriously passionate fans, that’s just going to be cool.”

Speaking of the pre-season testing, which did not show good omens for the Renault powered teams (which includes Caterham), Ericsson acknowledged the difficulties but does not expect too many surprises come lights out in next Sunday.

“The pre-season tests were tough, but at the end of them we’d got through most of what we planned, so there shouldn’t be too many surprises in Melbourne. By the end of the tests our reliability was best of the Renault teams and we ran through a race simulation, including the formation lap procedure, starts and pitstops, so with the mileage we completed in both Bahrain tests, we’re as ready as we can be.

“I’ve also been back at the factory since leaving Bahrain and been driving the Melbourne track on the simulator which means it’ll only take a lap or two for me to get up to speed when we’re there.”

The Australian Grand Prix next Sunday kicks off the 2014 season. Ericsson will line up alongside Kamui Kobayashi, who missed 2013 over sponsorship problems.

Image courtesy Caterham F1 Team/LAT Photographic.

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