Giedo van der Garde, Caterham, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 2013

Caterham makes changes to design team

2013 F1 season

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Giedo van der Garde, Caterham, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 2013Caterham has restructured its technical department as it prepares for the major changes in the rules for next season.

Current operations director Jody Egginton has been promoted to deputy technical director. Current technical director Mark Smith remains in his role.

“Jody has many years of experience on the pitwall and in the factory that will be invaluable for our team in the latter stages of the 2013 season and particularly as we head into 2014,” said Smith.

Performance director John Iley, who joined the team from McLaren in 2011, will head up the team’s new Advanced Projects Group which will contribute towards the team’s F1 development and other interests.

Smith said: “John?s role will also enable him to take a broader view of all our performance characteristics, and will allow him to innovate ?ǣ something that is crucial in F1 but which is often difficult to dedicate resource to, particularly for a young team like ours.”

Caterham entered F1 in 2010 as Lotus, then changed its name two years later. It finished tenth in the championship in its first three seasons but currently lies 11th and last.

The news follows Caterham’s announcement on Sunday that it had extended its Renault engine deal for three years.

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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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19 comments on “Caterham makes changes to design team”

  1. I’m begginging to get the impression of Caterham that they have all the ingredients to be a great midfield team, but they don’t have the creativity. They have a decent enough budget (with joint technical partnerships with GE and Airbus that should be a great help), the modern facilities, stable sponsorship, acceptably talented drivers and an organised management structure. Yet they’re still languishing a seiche behind the midfield.

    Why? Because they aren’t coming up with new ideas and taking risks. The most daring they’ve gotten this year is putting a fin in the exhaust channel in pre-season testing, and that was swiftly banned because it contravened the regulations (so in essence they can’t do what Red Bull were doing last year it seems).

    It’s frustrating, and I hope that they can close the gap and overtake a few teams in the constructor’s hierarchy next year.

    1. @vettel1 their best try can put them ahead Williams, at least. They would just need 2 points!!!

      But of course it’s easier said than done. just two points means being 10th twice, or 9th once, which looks even harder

      1. @omarr-pepper of course, I have the benefit of being a couch coach in this case but the potential is clearly there to score some points. Of course, they do have to overcome some other great teams to achieve that but they are tantalisingly close to being able to best them, yet haven’t. Why? For me, it just doesn’t look like they have the imagination, the audacity. They’re trying to beat others by out-doing their own ideas, which really only Red Bull have managed to do recently.

        I think they need to be more revolutionary than conventional – they have nothing to lose, no reputation to dent (unlike Williams and McLaren this year). I do hope this change helps.

    2. Interesting spelling of “beginning” haha!

  2. If they don’t catch up next year, they never will. It’s very poor that they and Marussia are still well behind the midfield after three and a half seasons.

    1. @jarnooo do they have the “average” money to cathch up? cause Force India were already much better on their 3rd season, and Toro Rosso too, but let’s not forget the huge amounts of money they put on it. Money isn’t necessarily all the key to becoming more succesful, though. Remember Toyota? They scored some podiums but not a single victory. And it was reported they had more money than what Ferrari was spending then.

      1. they can only be compared to start from scratch teams of which we only had 2 others since 97(unless im having a brain fade).

        They are toyota who did a whole year testing. and Stewart who much further ahead right out of the box than the new teams and won a race in 3rd year. Funny thing was they were slated for their lack of performance in 98, yet the current new teams would give anything for the 7 top 10 finishes Rubens and Jan/Jos had in 98.

  3. IMHO, I find it hard to believe this team is able to survive for much longer. I think it’s great for the sport to have them and they show great spirit and enthusiasm. However, they’ve taken too long to get competitive and are still consistently at the back of the grid after 4 years. In Singapore, Pic’s best Qualy time was 1:48.111 vs. Vettel’s Pole time of 1:42.841. That’s over a 5 sec gap. Pic’s time was also nearly 2 secs adrift of DiResta in lowly 17th (1:46.121). IMO, they have to start doing better very soon to get the respect & enthusiasm of the typical fan and not become the butt of jokes.

  4. Well if Caterham and Marussia can’t close the gap to the mid field next year than I am afraid they never will.
    Since they began in 2010 they have been trying to catch up, but maintaining the gap to the mid field was the best they could do with the available budget. The rule change is the big chance these teams are waiting for, so hopefully they’ll be in the mid field next year

  5. 8 teams 3 cars.
    Marussia and Caterham are a joke. They have been a joke for the last 3 years. With Heikki, or Pic, paid or payer.
    I’d rather see 8 teams with 3 cars rather than this lousy backmakers that remind me of Forti Ford and Minardi.
    Toro Rosso had its Monza, Williams Valencia, Sauber last year 4 podiums, and FI is always there.

    1. 3 car teams would be a terrible idea & would do nothing but raise cost’s & put all but the very richest 3-4 teams into further financial trouble.
      Lotus can’t afford to pay there current 2 drivers, Add a 3rd & they would be in very serious financial trouble. Williams, Sauber & Force India would also struggle to run a 3rd car given there all struggling as it is.

      And with 3 car teams it would make it even harder for the mid-fielders to score points & finish towards the front, Again hitting them badly financially.

      Also have 3 car teams & have a season where 1 team produce a dominant car & we’d be seeing 1 team locking out the podium every race which would be bad for the championship, That would also see the championships decided earlier.

      3 car teams is something that teams have discussed before & every time all but Ferrari vote it down because the teams know how big a financial hit & how bad for the championship 3rd cars would actually be.

      1. With 8 teams instead of 11 teams you would only have 8 R&D budgets instead of 11. Money would be allocated between 8 teams instead of the current 10 teams. So each team would have a bit more money.
        I say let them the teams do whatever they want. If they want to waste their money on three cars or crazy budgets, go for it. If you don’t like it, stop paying attention, it will devalue the F1 brand and force them to lower their budgets. The value of the sport is contingent on revenue which comes from the consumer.

      2. You made your point and I think you are right. It was the heat of the moment that made me write that.
        But still think Marussia and Caterham does not deserve F1 status.
        The only good thing….VDG and BIA might drive a better car in the following seasons.
        Its like being a Minardi supporter…being happy just for having discovered Alonso and Weber.
        I remind Minardi supporters that Mazzacane also raced a Minardi.

        My point is…you should have a chance to do good.
        You might have bad years….but 3 years in a row? Naaa.

  6. this lousy backmakers that remind me of Forti Ford and Minardi

    @mumito There is a massive difference between Marussia and Caterham on one side, and Forti on the other. Forti had a car that was not even close to being competitive. The entire team was basically funded by one pay driver. When the driver and sponsor noticed the car was awful, they abandoned ship and Forti went bankrupt after one-and-a-half seasons.

    Caterham and Marussia have facilities sufficient to produce a car that is compared to Forti just slightly off the pace. Both have two main investors, they have good future plans and there’s a good chance both teams will start their fifth season next year. How you can even vaguely compare them to Forti is beyond me.

    1. Should have been a reply to the post above, my bad…

  7. Any team, even these lowly newcomers can score points. All it takes is some luck, like a pileup at the start which takes out half the field, like at Spa that time. I’m amazed that neither has even lucked into a point in thre years. I certainly wouldn’t be putting my sponsorship dollars behind either team until they produced a point scoring effort. Even Williams didn’t take that long to start scoring points back in the day. Ditto Sauber, Stewart, Jordan etc. But having less teams would just suck as much. The rules certainly tie the teams hands. Even if I had won the $400Million lotto last week, starting an F1 team, a lifelong dream, would remain that. Its gotta suck for both of those teams.

  8. I recently read they’re considering Kovalainen again for next year. If they ever want to be taken seriously, they should just get rid of that man. He’s never going to bring them anything. He has no decent sponsorship and just costs money, I dare say VDG is doing more to impress me than Kovalainen ever did, while VDG’s a “paydriver”. Most memorable thing Kovalainen’s done during his time at Lotus/Caterham was extinguish the flames coming out of his car in Singapore.

    1. @roald
      I don’t think that’s fair. Kovalainen had a very good 2011 season, Keith ranked Kovalainen 8th that year and team principals ranked him 9th. Both ranks were and still are exceptional for someone who’s driving in one of the new teams. His 2010 season was good also, but his 2012 season (and especially the second half of it) wasn’t very impressive.

  9. Caterham are getting remarkably good at … existing. And nothing else. I’m starting to worry whether there is any genuine sport related reason for this (and Marussia as well) team to exist. Being a marketing vehicle for Malaysian businessmen and getting nowhere sports-wise is insulting to the fan support Caterham gathered. They were very often praised by their “true racing spirit”. Where is it now? Because it seems that owners and the management of the team is content with what they have now. Vegetation. If they intended to strive for something more, which was and still is realistic, they should have done more. I can’t see the push for midfield, I only saw completely unfounded PR talk about midfield (and podiums!) with Fernandes and Gascoyne at helm, and now I can see completely opposite behavior. All of this applies to Marussia as well, only without the crazy PR talk.

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