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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Caterham do not expect much improvement at Spa-Francochamps

The holidays are over and the Race Weekend is about to begin, but Tony Fernandes is not talking up Caterham's chances in Belgium.  In order to deflect attention away from the race he's set to unveil a new sponsor today "which will send out another very powerful message about how serious we are about taking the fight to the teams ahead".  Another powerful message Tony? I think we all might have missed the first one.

I do hope this new sponsor packs the punch in the wallet which will help the team finish the season in the points (just one will do!).

He then further deflects from the weekend ahead by saying that the gap to the pack ahead is less than a second.  This is simply not true Tony - In my mid-term Caterham check-up I calculated the gap to the Toro Rosso ahead at 1.532 seconds prior to Valencia and after bringing the upgrades to Valencia and Silverstone the gap for remainder of the season to Hungary calculated out at an average of 1.354 seconds.

By massaging the figures - by which I mean taking the most favourable available lap-time statistic - the gap can be spun to 1.031 seconds but under a second? You are kidding me.

I know that it's disappointing for the Caterham Squad not to have closed the gap further but I do think, ignoring deflections and unsubstantiated gaps, that a gain of nearly 2 tenths (0.178) of a second is pretty impressive in F1 terms resulting from aero-upgrades.  Murray Walker always maintained that success or failure in F1 can be measured in 100ths of a second, on that yardstick Caterham are winning.

The move to Leafield is another step which can only bring benefits in terms of production, testing, and improvement.

I think the future is bright enough for Caterham without Tony spinning the birth of a new dynasty on them.  Keep the heads up guys and the result will come.  I'm reliably told that the first point, like the first win, is one of the most difficult things to achieve but once it happens it seems that it becomes a habit (sadly Jean Alesi is the exception that proves that rule).