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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Caterham, HRT, & Marussia Reflections

It is with regret that, upon reviewing the constructor's and driver's championship leaderboards it remains the case that the three backmarker teams of Caterham, HRT, & Marussia all languish at the bottom of the tables with no points.  This amounts to 3 years of failure in a sport that only rewards success.  Should they be expelled or do any of them have enough potential to warrant giving them a little bit more rope?

Marussia (Virgin) who entered F1 in 2010 with a plan to design a car using only computer design software (Computational Fluid Dynamics) - Once the reality set in last year they made a decision to return to the tried and tested method.  They have scored no points since their inception and their highest finish has been 14th. If, after 3 years a team is so slow that they haven't even lucked into a single point they should be ejected from the F1 grid to make way for a new team.

VERDICT: Not worth the effort. It's time for them to leave.

HRT have spectacularly failed to make a car fit for pre-season testing since they began in 2010.  The car has turned up at the first race for the last 3 years with no track time under its belt.  In 2011 and 2012 they have failed to make the 107% qualifying time and in 2010 they both began the race from the pitlane.  once again their highest finish in a race has been 14th.  It's amazing that neither HRT nor Marussia have lucked into a single point particularly given the fact that all cars to 10th place get points.  Minardi, etc. used to gain the odd point even when only the first 6 places were scored.

VERDICT:  Bottom of the class - Go Now

Caterham (Team Lotus/1Malaysia Team)  On first viewing the team looks like it should have the makings of a neat little team; certainly best of the three.  Mike Gascoyne is on board as Chief Tech and Heikki Kovalainen is in the car.  Theoretically they should be moving upwards and onwards to bigger and better things.  Why then do they still languish at the bottom of the table, just above HRT and Marussia?  They too have never managed to score a single point, lucky or otherwise, in the three years that they've been there.  Gascoyne has been with the team since it began and they've been using the Renault engine, which we all know is pretty good given that Red Bull have won a championship with it and Lotus (Renault) have been using it.

Why can they not make the car work? The team claim to be catching the rest of the teams but, even in the topsy-turvy world of F1 2012 they haven't been able to, as of yet, find that point and, though I dislike saying it, with Vitaly Petrov in the second car they've lessened their chances of capitalising on an opportunity should it arise.  If anyone is going to give them the point they need its likely to be Heikki.  Still, its sad that the only claim to fame for the team so far is that they've managed to keep a McLaren behind them at Monaco.  That result showed that the pitcrew is pretty good, in that they managed to turn the car around and get it back out ahead of Jenson, but it doesn't say much for the car itself.  Their highest ever finish for no points, 12th.

VERDICT:  Must do better, position safe till the end of the year - but if it's another Null Point next year they too must go