Season In Review – Caterham – New Lows

We start off the traditional end of season look with the last placed team – Caterham.

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In a first for the team in green after finishing ahead of their young team contemporaries, Caterham found themselves last in the standings after the wheels stopped turning in Brazil. With no HRT to create a rolling road block at the back of the pack, Jules Bianchi’s 13th place in Malaysia sealed the deal for the other 2010 entrant still surviving. At the back of the grid this year development was halted very early due to the massive shake up next year in the regulations so there was never going to be much hope for Caterham to really progress despite years of promises otherwise.

The team decided to release Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen to replace them with Charles Pic from Marussia and rookie Geido Van Der Garder. In a change to the teams principles this saw no real experience in the garage (apart from Pic’s lone season at rivals Marussia) but plenty of cash to fill the coffers at Leafield. But it was telling that the team had to re-recruit Heikki to drive in FP1 to help develop the car throughout the year as the in-experience of their drivers showed.

Unfortunately for Caterham a slow start hampered them and although they were generally faster than Marussia throughout the year the “other car in red” was definitely the faster package out of the box. The drop to last place wont harm Caterham’s financials too much as to stay a category 2 team (which Caterham have become bringing much more prize money) you have to finish 10th or higher in 2 of the last 3 seasons. This leaves it imperative that the team can outscore Marussia next year and could see Heikki return to the car.

As for the drivers Geido Van Der Garder’s heroics in Spa spring to mind and by the half-way mark the Dutchman had certainly turned the tables on his more experienced French team mate and looks the better of the pair. However how good either are is up for debate as neither provide a good yard stick.

Next season is going to be key with a huge spike in costs and without new sponsors or big money pay drivers expect there to only be 10 teams rolling into Australia in 2015.

Renault brakes not sticking the heat in FP 1 and 2

Renault had problems with both cars in FP1, seeing Heidfeld and Petrov in the gravel trap with failures under breaking. D’ambrosio also ended up in the traps after a similar failure in FP1. The hotter FP2 has given an indication that the tires are going to fall apart in Sepang as well as 75 – 90% chance of rain during the race too!!

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Quick Nick Flounders while the rocket from Russia collects a podium

Well we’ve had our first race of the year and while not a vintage Austrailian grand prix it still was a good watch. The DRS system seemed ok, obviously teams still have to sort it out but the tires also played their part too. But the drive of the day has to go to Vitaly Petrov picking up his maiden podium bring the renault home in 3rd place beating Ferraris and a red bull on the way. People have been asking what Robert could of done in the car and im not sure the top two steps were quite within reach. Vettel had a storming drive, perfectly in control throughout.

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