“Caterham has big potential” – Pic

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Charles Pic has high hopes for his new team.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Q&A with Caterham’s Charles Pic (F1)

“For me the Caterham factory is great. We’re doing everything we can to make a good car so now we have to work and start to prepare for next year. I think Caterham has big potential – I’m 100 percent confident of that. We just have to work very hard to improve ourselves to be better next year and to take a step forward.”

Steve Nielsen quits Caterham role (Autosport)

“It is not clear why he is leaving, but sources suggest that he is moving to another outfit. The Leafield-based team has confirmed he will stop working for it in January.”

Razia ?? surpreendido com decis??o da Marussia, mas diz: ‘Ainda h?? chance’ (Globo Esporte, Portuguese)

Luiz Razia says he was surprised Marussia signed Max Chilton for 2013, but hopes to land a seat with Caterham or Force India.

‘No’ a la alternancia del Gran Premio de Espa???a de F???rmula 1 (Mundo Deportivo, Spanish)

The Circuit de Catalunya does not want to share the Spanish Grand Prix with Valencia.

One Piece at a Time: This Brit Is Building an F1 Car in His Backyard ? Can You Help? (Car and Driver)

“In his garden shed, Thomas is slowly putting together his own Formula 1 car based on parts from a 2001 British American Racing 003.”

Nico Rosberg season???s greetings 2012: bull riding (YouTube)


Comment of the day

@Magnificent-Geoffrey has a concern about the proposed new F1 race in Thailand:

Please tell me the circuit’s not going to be called the ‘Bangkokring’.

From the forum

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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45 comments on ““Caterham has big potential” – Pic”

  1. Dammit, @Magnificent-Geoffrey, your COTD just made me spit-take coco-pops over my keyboard.

    1. …..and my tea all over my desk. :D

    2. Is there a pun in there ? I am not a native speaker, so there must be something i don’t get…

      1. ha haaaaaa, i get it !
        I had to read it out loud a few times… Nice one ! ;-)

  2. Thank heavens you came along when you did, Luiz. I’m sure many team principals have been disappointed that they have not had the opportunity to sign up an under-performing GP2 driver who is quite literally second best after four years of racing.

    At least he’s realistic about things, and considering drives with smaller teams – unlike Davide Valsecchi, who publicly announced that he considered himself to be the favourite to replace Romain Grosjean at Lotus, insinuating the the team was seriously considering dumping Grosjean … two days before they announced they were keeping him.

    1. @prisoner-monkeys +1 about Valsecchi, he certainly doesn’t stand out to me as an F1 graduate any time soon. That reminds me of when Jean-Eric Vergne said probably over a year ago that he would do a much better job than Mark Webber after he topped one of the Young Driver Tests on a rubbered-in track in Abu Dhabi on low fuel loads in the best car on the grid. Arrogance or belief in their own potential? I think the former.

      1. Thank heavens you came along when you did, @prisoner-monkeys, otherwise I wouldn’t have noticed how much Razia sucks. In fact, to choose Chilton over him sounds like a much better idea, since Chilton came home with 24th, 20th and 4th places in his last GP2 seasons.

        That is why he says he is surprised, as well as the fact that Marussia was still open and if he is to believed, interested in him with active talks going on until they ‘suddenly’ announced Chilton. I’m not a Razia fan, barely know the guy, but this Chilton fella does not appeal to me any more than he does.

        1. In fact, to choose Chilton over him sounds like a much better idea, since Chilton came home with 24th, 20th and 4th places in his last GP2 seasons.

          You don’t think it’s in the least bit interesting that Chilton had a massive improvement between 2011 and 2012?

          1. You are right in this, and there is potential (probably more than Razia), but I understand Razia’s surprise at the whole matter, that is all.

          2. I suspect Razia might have been expecting a little more than what he could reasonably receive. I’ve heard that he approached Force India with nearly $20 million in sponsorship and they very politely turned him down almost straight away.

  3. I agree Palmer, Kobayashi doesn’t deserve a Marussia seat. He deserves one at a team much better than that.

    1. That’s not what Palmer is saying. At all.

      1. Nor is @olliej suggesting Palmer is saying that. At all.

        1. I agree Palmer, Kobayashi doesn’t deserve a Marussia seat.

          Chilton joined Marussia. OllieJ is implying that Chilton beat Kobayashi out and got the seat ahead of him.

          1. What he seems to overlook is that Chilton got that 4th on his third try. On his first run, he finished 24th. Kobayashi had only one go at GP2, and that was a 16th. Easy to figure out who beats who, eh?

          2. @flig

            Kobayashi had only one go at GP2, and that was a 16th.

            What on earth are you talking about? Kobayashi did two years in GP2 (2008 and 2009), and two years in GP2 Asia (2008 and 2008-09). He started 61 GP2 Series races – compared to 74 for Chilton in three years in GP2 and two in GP2 Asia (by which point the series had been drastically cut down to a handful of races).

            I don’t know where you’re getting your information from, but Kobayashi did not do a single season in GP2.

          3. No I wasn’t, I was implying that Kobayashi is too good a driver for the Marussia seat. It’s fine for rookies or pay drivers (whichever label you want to apply to Chilton) but not a driver who’s already proven himself over 3 years at a decent team.
            I was just being snide about Palmer’s claim that Chilton’s GP2 results make him a better F1 prospect than Kobayashi. Although given the decline in quality in GP2, 16th place in 2008–9 is probably about the same standard as fourth place in 2012.

          4. @prisoner-monkeys Not quite – if you read the whole of @olliej‘s post rather than taking a sentence out of context, you’ll see he is making a point about Kobayashi’s worth as an F1 driver and how his performances so far merit a decent car – something 90% of this website’s readership would likely agree with.

          5. his performances so far merit a decent car – something 90% of this website’s readership would likely agree with

            An assessment which 81% of team principals do not agree with.

          6. An assessment which 81% of team principals do not agree with.

            Yet somehow six points more in the same car would have been worth a Mclaren seat.

          7. Yet somehow six points more in the same car would have been worth a Mclaren seat.

            Do you honestly think McLaren only looked at Kobayashi and Perez’s performances relative to one another over the course of fourteen races?

          8. Do you honestly think McLaren only looked at Kobayashi and Perez’s performances relative to one another over the course of fourteen races?

            Nope, but it’s easy to see why people believe Kobayashi at least merited a seat for 2013, if his teammate (who he also outscored in 2011) is going to a top team.

    2. I honestly don’t believe Kobayashi has performed any miracles. He is a popular driver and it is sad to see his passing (for at least a year anyway) but really has he merited a seat with a decent team? His highlight performances were few and far between whereas at the season’s start Perez was consistantly impressing. Granted he did plumit off the cliff after his McLaren drive had been confirmed but still I believe Perez could become a world champion. I don’t think Kobayashi could.

      Realistically Kobayashi was replaced at Sauber for Hülkenberg (as Esteban Gutierrez is to retain the Mexican money) and I don’t think there’s much case for saying Kobayashi is better than Hülkenberg. He has been very impressive with his consistency and speed (namely in Korea and Brazil) and he does remind me of the combined 10 title winning pair of Sebatsian Vettel and Michael Schumacher, which is pretty high praise.

      1. I agree with this pretty much word for word. People are upset that Kobayashi is losing his seat because he’s popular. I certainly don’t think he’s done enough to merit a seat in 2013.

  4. According to the Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat Kimi Raikkonen has earned 1 million $ for his victory in Abu Dhabi and 50 000 $ for each point he scored this season (207),if we do the calculations
    (207*50000)+1000000= 11,350 000$
    If we add the standard salary of Raikkonen which is estimated around 5 million $ to the bonus
    we get 16,350 000$ and that will put him i think 4th in the ranking of the highest paid drivers after Fernando, Lewis and Jenson
    It’s rumored that team Lotus has revised Kimi’s contract and a new bonus formula was made to be more fair for both side


    1. He certainly deserves it. I just saw some Red Bull graphics on F1 vs. NASCAR and it listed Alonso as the highest earning driver with USD 37mn, followed by Hamilton and Button on USD 22mn and Rosberg on USD 12mn. Now the certainly well-informed F1 Racing put Hamilton on USD 24.4mn in 2012 and USD 31.5mn for Mercedes in 2013.

      What surprises me the most is that Vettel is not at the sharp end of the grid in this respect. Not that hold him in higher regard than Alonso (but that’s a matter of personal preference again), but I think he is certainly one of the top 3 drivers in F1 right now, and as such he deserves a much higher wage, I think.

      1. I think that Vettel extended his contract with Red Bull before becoming a double WDC now he is a triple WDC it is true that his salary isn’t in common with his status but i think he will be in top 3 most highest earning drivers when he will sign his next contract whether he will remain with Red Bull or he will move to another team

        1. or he has secret #1 status.

      2. or red bull is hiding their expenditure once again ;)

    2. I wonder where Ilta Sanomat is getting its information. Turun Sanomat is rumoured to have a relationship with Kimi’s people, and they often “leak” information Kimi’s camp wants leaked.

    3. @tifoso1989 , @atticus2 – I believe the Red Bull driver’s salaries have more bonuses for good performances. They both have a basic salary of around €10m but I would struggle to believe Vettel (and Webber) don’t get huge bonuses for victories and of course championships.

      On basic salaries though Vettel is behind both McLaren drivers and Alonso. Vettel could be rather underpaid!

  5. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    20th December 2012, 10:42

    … And nor should the Circuit de Catalunya want to share with Valencia for the Spanish GP.

    Valencia has produced only one good race in its’ time in Formula 1, and on top of that, it’s a horribly boring race track.
    Catalunya is a much better race track and thus, produces better racing.

    As far as i’m concerned, Valencia can **** right off, and never come back.

    1. Catalunya is a much better race track and thus, produces better racing.

      “Better” circuits don’t automatically produce better racing. I’ve seen plenty of boring races at Silverstone and Spa.

    2. Reports are saying that Circuit de Catalunya wants to keep race until 2016 and want it to extend it 2020. No more alternation between Valencia and Catalunya.

  6. William Brierty
    20th December 2012, 11:43

    Jolyon why are you comparing apples with oranges? The 2009 was a grid of huge talent with names like Nico Hulkenberg, Pastor Maldonado, Vitaly Petrov and Lucas Di Grassi in attendance and with a completely different chasis, one that was more setup dependant. However this year’s grid has been mesmurisingly average and with the new very forgiving and versatile GP2 chasis. 4th doesn’t sound so great now does it? And let’s not forget that Calado would have been 3rd had he had better luck over the season. And in F1, unless your name is Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel, no rookie is gonna be faster than a guy that has several seasons of experience. And really, was the gap between Perez and Kobayashi big enough to warrant Perez going to McLaren and Kobayashi to loose his place in F1? Of course not. It’s not about talent Jolyon, just a little thing called money.

    1. Money has definetly amplified the gap between Perez and Kobayashi but it just so happens the dice were rolled in such a way that it was essentially “get sponsorship or no seat” for Kobayashi. Something good may come of it though; perhaps Gutierrez is secretly a brilliant driver! (In all honestly though I’d rather another driver get a chance to prove himself rather than F1 retaining the services of a likely life-long midfielder).

      1. William Brierty
        20th December 2012, 19:52

        I don’t know how Sauber can justify sacking Kobayashi on the basis of a lack is sponsorship when they’ve just scored their best post BMW constructors ranking. OK, they’ve splashed out on Hulkenberg for 2013, but do they need to counter this by pulling in some 9 year old that is backed by the richest man in the world? Of course not. This is what will happen next year. Gutierrez will humiliate himself by showing the kind of inconsistency and clumsiness that got him nowhere in GP2. Hulkenberg will pop off to Ferrari, and about three minutes after the flag drops in Brazil, Sauber will announce that Frijns will replace Gutierrez for 2014. And a few weeks later they’ll be knocking on the door of a Mr Kobayashi, all the while looking their shoes; unless the want another rookie to partner Frijns. Meanwhile at Marussia the bank balance will be looking surprisingly healthy, but Chilton’s race ranking won’t be. But hay ho! As long as these teams are richer! Mr Todt if you are reading, which you clearly aren’t, put the budget caps in place and end this madness!

  7. Thank God, F1Fanatic’s back!!!

  8. When I saw a tweet to this link, I was confused if it meant “Charles Pic saying that” or it was a link to a picture regarding the article

  9. Off topic question for y’all.

    Could indycars race on a Formula 1 race circuit?

    1. Indy Car Series to Expand Calendar With Room for Austin

        1. Thanks guys.

          I’ve been having a dream of a circuit made up of parts of famous tracks from F1 and Indycar.
          I would have F1 going Anti-clockwise, and Indycar going Clockwise.
          Obviously not at the same time…….Lol.

  10. Nico rosberg has a little more training to do if he’s going to score any points bull-riding…

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