Kobayashi’s Caterham ‘slower than a GP2 car’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Kamui Kobayashi said he would be more competitive in a GP2 car instead of his Caterham given their testing performance so far.


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Kobayashi: GP2 faster than Caterham (Autosport)

“We are not in race conditions here, but if we were in race conditions I think I should bring a GP2 car.”

Fuel consumption ‘a big challenge’ (ESPN)

Jenson Button: I finished the grand prix distance, but in testing it’s relatively easy to do because you just drive around really slow. I think we are all going to find it tricky and there is a lot of fine tuning that’s needed from everyone.”

Sochi prepares for F1 (Sky)

“Our aim is to have it done 90 days before the grand prix.”

Michael Schumacher latest news: Jacques Villeneuve says F1 star’s accident was “bad luck” and freakish (The Mirror)

“It’s freakish because he wasn’t even going at speed. He was going slow. It was just bad luck.”

Michael Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm rejects claims doctors have stopped ‘waking up process’ (The Independent)

“Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm, who has acted as a spokesperson for Schumacher and his family throughout the ordeal, has confirmed that the situation remains ‘unchanged’ and has stressed the importance for patience with what can be a very lengthy process.”

Why has it taken so long for women to break into F1? (The Telegraph)

Alice Powell: “It is talked about that women are not fit enough to drive in Formula One. We may not be as strong as men initially (we naturally have 30 per cent less muscle); however, it does not mean we can’t work to be race fit. It just means we have to work that bit harder on building our strength and stamina.”

The demise of FOTA (MotorSport)

“It is not by chance that Red Bull is far from the most popular team in the paddock. Many blame Dietrich Mateschitz’s outfit for the sad, powerless, predicament in which they now find themselves against the cold heart of CVC. That said, it was not only Red Bull who were bought off by Ecclestone.”

Here is how the F14 T sounds! (Ferrari via YouTube)



Comment of the day

Almost two months on from Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident which has left him in a coma, former Formula One medical delegate Dr Gary Hartstein made some criticisms of the Schumacher family’s approach regarding media coverage. Several comments took issue with his stance:

It’s Corinna, Gina-Maria and Mick who are suffering the most. It’s not a question of Michael’s celebrity status here when his life is in such a precarious position.

Hartstein might feel it is necessary to the fans that the family speak out, but it’s his own private take on this, he shouldn’t be airing those, it only adds more pressure on Michael’s family.

I am a huge fan of Michael’s, and everyday there’s a dark corner in my mind which reminds me that Michael is fighting for his life. But I do not wish to make things any worse for the family, if they don’t want to come out and talk it’s their wish, and nobody should have any say on the matter otherwise.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Madbikerbob!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Robert La Caze, the only F1 driver to compete with Moroccan nationality. A highly active member of Morocco’s motor racing scene, La Caze was invited to compete in its sole world championship round in 1958. He made his only start in an F1 race driving an F2 Cooper, finishing 14th overall and third in the F2 class. He is 97 today.

Image © Caterham/LAT

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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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61 comments on “Kobayashi’s Caterham ‘slower than a GP2 car’”

  1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    26th February 2014, 0:07

    Maybe it’s time F1 accepts some F2 cars on the grid, as it was during the first years of the sport. The grid would grow up, and maybe in a rainy race the difference wouldn’t be so huge.
    And I guess Bernie would like it. Maybe he could suggest triple points for a F2 racer if he gets in the top ten.

    1. soundscape (@)
      26th February 2014, 0:41

      I can’t tell if you’re being facetious. :P

    2. they would just get in the way, it works in lemans for example becoz its not about postion rather amount of laps, gp2 (not f2)
      it would just casue accedents

      for example. you would then need to run split quality session then have a second paddock, which most old school tracks do not have
      just not viable and it would just constantly tread on f1 toes and ruin it, at least for me

      dont get me wrong i love gp2, but because there crazy and will try anything to pass and get that point, meaning you really see some controlled mayhem sometimes.
      then on the other hand i love f1 for the speed and just sheer grip and talent. and then sound on top, now turbo (cant bloody wait, im more excited than a 5 year old kid on xmas eve!!)

      so yer, i dont see bernie liking it, more so coz it dont bring enough cash to the tv! miserable old bugger that he is, but a bloody good one at that lol

    3. Caterham is slower than GP2 now but it will be slightly faster than GP2 in Melbourne, as it’s always been.

    4. Maybe Kobayashi is slower is than many GP2 drivers

    5. Caterham should buy last years Ferrari and modify it instead of going around in something that is slower than a bus.

  2. Nigel Roebuck tells a sorry story, too bad there was only one of Ken Tyrrell.

    1. Honestly I don’t know who I’d trust more – or should I say less – to run F1, Bernie or the teams. Bernie is only interested in filling his own coffers, the teams are only interested in gaining advantage over each other. Whether there would be more harmony without Bernie ‘sticking his chisel in’ is debatable, but with so much money around I suppose there’s always going to be somebody trying to profit.

      1. Somehow F1 needs to provide authority to someone like Ross Brawn or Sir Jackie Stewart to save itself. Somebody that is not a puppet or a gold digger. The way, shape or form and how this authority could be created would have to be agreed upon by CVC (or whatever firm/owner/rights holder will be in the future) and the teams. Of course, this is all extremely unlikely due to the fact of F1 being cleverly painted into a corner of greed and self interest. So instead, the golden goose is slowly choking itself…

        1. @bullmello

          The problem with that approach is that no one knows if Brawn and Stewart aren’t puppets or gold diggers. That’s our perception of them, but we don’t know them really, neither do most of the teams, and that’s why you can’t just trust a billion dollar sport (plus the future of your team) based on a idealized perception of people you don’t know.

          That’s the problem, you can’t just pick a guy you like and blindly believe he’ll be fantastically good for F1.

      2. That was where a strong 3rd like FOTA was for a short while, could work @george, because FIA, FOM and FOTA would always need to get one of the others aboard to get things done.

    2. Yes but in the mean time or forever as it had been for a while you would still think that Bernie is better than the cvc and the FIA.

      1. But CVC are Bernie.

  3. “Why has it taken so long for women to break into F1? (The Telegraph)”

    It’s a beat up thing, if you can’t comprehend the answer by your own means, go to your local go-kart track and watch eight years olds. When you’ll have as many girls there as boys things might change.

    1. It’s down to the parents and grandparents etc. Girls are dainty and all that. Nanna buys my daughter dolls and plastic jewellery, I get my daughter cars and airplanes. Guess what she would rather do? Run around with a tools and fix things. The problem with females and motorsports is not down to motorsports and females. The root of the problem is sport segregation. Look at the olympics, look at any technical sport. There is also a male category and a female category. Yes there are some raw strength sports than women will have less of a chance like weight lifting and running faster the Usain Bolt. But to say that a female who shots bullseyes’ in archery or shooting is less capable than a male and requires a separate category does not make any sense. Rant over. Motorsports may not officially segregate drivers but until other sports stop motorsports will be unofficially segregating drivers’.

      1. But to say that a female who shots bullseyes’ in archery or shooting is less capable than a male and requires a separate category does not make any sense.

        But why is it such a bad thing to have a separate category? Are you saying that the men’s category is somehow rated higher than that of the women category? And why do women want so badly to compete against the men? <–That to me suggests some kind of personal insecurity and sexist agenda issue.

        To me, a gender division in sport insures that the competition is fair for all. I personally get just as excited when I watch competition in women’s division as I do in men’s. I don’t value one higher than the other. Its just what it is. I value them equally. The outcome is, we get the best women and the best man. Simple as that. What do you want?

        1. @maksutov:

          And why do women want so badly to compete against the men?

          Nobody you’re replying to has actually made such a claim, but I’m guessing that women would want to compete against men for the same reasons that men want to compete against men: to see which person is the best. In some sports men are faster/stronger/whatever than women, in which case separate classes make sense. In other sports like shooting or archery it makes no sense.

          To me, a gender division in sport insures that the competition is fair for all

          I’d say that depends on the sport, see examples above.

          The outcome is, we get the best women and the best man. Simple as that. What do you want?

          Where it makes sense I would like to see who is the best person, regardless of gender.

        2. You know, in chess, there are Grand Master titles. And there are Woman Grand Master titles. I dont think the first is male exclusive, but the second is female only. There are even the World Champ and the Woman World Champ.

          The funny thing is the Women World Champion isnt even in the world’s top ten, and most title women would be completely beaten by a man with a low title. The requirements are simply much lower.

          1. @austus: I know nothing about the world of chess. Are there as many female players as males? Or is it similar to motor sport where not as many women participate?

            Looking at another sport I once read that equestrianism is the only truly equal top-level sport, and looking at the Olympic medal results for the last few years seems to bear that out. It’s a physical sport in which men and women compete equally and either can win.

        3. But why is it such a bad thing to have a separate category?

          simple. Where is the money going to come from, who is going to watch @maksutov?

          Just compare mens and womans football, look at how long it took for tennis to get both parts seen as good sporting competitions next to each other. Or look at basketball and compare men’s and women games. And those are sports where you can have short skirts (or even those revealing outfits used in basketball – going towards woman wrestling) make watching more appealing to a certain audience.

        4. And why do women want so badly to compete against the men? <–That to me suggests some kind of personal insecurity and sexist agenda issue.

          So if you want to compete on even terms against a category of people who dominate a certain field, your prime motivations are insecurity and an ideological agenda. Yup, sounds like rock solid logic to me.

          1. @maciek

            My argument was based on why would people be against gender division, if it were to be possible (as some have pointed out here, and other articles like here: https://www.racefans.net/2014/02/14/sauber-helping-de-silvestro-towards-2015-race-seat/ ). Mr Logical.

          2. @maksutov But none of that changes the fact that your assumption is that women who want to compete against men are driven by some hidden motives rather than simply the same will to win at the highest possible level, just like any other competitor in any other competition – why?

          3. @maciek

            Fair enough, however:

            Firstly, it is not an assumption, I am suggesting that its a possibility.

            Secondly, stating that ” women who want to compete against men are driven by simply the same will to win at the highest possible level, just like any other competitor in any other competition” <— is in itself an assumption. How coud you possibally know that? You can not speak for all the women drivers and so you can only assume that. Therefore this is an assumption and your argument carries as much weight as any other.

            Thirdly, lets say that you are correct, and women who want to compete against men are indeed wholeheartedly driven by simply the same will to win at the "highest possible level". By saying that, you (and they) would be implying that the highest possible level is thus, the current male dominant level? More imprtantly, by that you are effectively saying that if there was a gender divided (womens only) F1 championship level, that it would somehow never be considered the highest possible level. Your words, not mine. Therefore by stating that, your logic and argument has completely canceled itself out.

            Pick any one of the three points above, proves that you yourself have gone wrong somewhere with your logic.

          4. @maksutov
            I think it’s rather clear that we will never agree on this. But to boil it down as I see it: I choose not to be suspicious about the motives of competitors based on a particular category they might belong to. End of.

          5. @maciek

            Ok and I respect that and so I respect your beliefs. But I don’t respect when someones trying to tell me that my opinion (or point) carries no logic – because it carries as much logic as yours or any other. But lets hope that, in a long run, it all turns out fair and square and completely legitimate as you say (and I would like to see that). But something tells me that its not going to quite turn out like that. I have no doubt that women can match men in many types of games and skills but weather F1 is considered to be a physically intensive sport, where physical abilities do play a role, and weather women will be slightly disadvantaged as a result, remains to be seen.

      2. Yes, in theory for some sports there shouldn’t be a split between genders but for instance when you look at both men’s and women’s finals in a darts tournament you can tell they are in very different levels.

        It just wouldn’t work in the real world to have everyone mixed together, of course women are perfectly capable of having the same skills as men but just like in motorsports there’s not enough of them for someone to stand out.

    2. +1

      you hit the nail on the head

    3. Few women involved in F1? It’s not a surprise quite frankly. Like you say, how many girls you find at local go-karts? 15%? How many girls watch F1 on TV?

      Sure there are not female drivers in F1 right now but Claire Williams and Monisha Kaltenborn deserve a standing ovation for breaking onto the top ranks of F1 teams.

      1. Its got to be about take up at junior level, so just not enough girls involved.
        Developing kids into racing drivers requires from their backers plenty of money, and from the competitor Skill, Finesse, Strength, Stamina, Will to win and a good vehicle to sit in/on…….3 day eventing springs to mind!!

    4. It’s the hard truth. Women are simply less interested in four-wheel open-cockpit motorsports than men are. I’ve been to BUKC rookies’ championship a couple of weeks back; pretty much anybody can sign up as long as they attend a uni. There were about a hundred guys and three women (approx.)

      The few girls who do actually attend tend to be at the lower rungs of the table in qualifying, races, practice, everything. Why? Because often motorsport can also be physically demanding and boys tend to cope with the physical difficulties better than girls (men are naturally stronger). Obviously, if a girl were to prepare for the event and spend more hours in the gym she could cut it just as well, but physical strength is just another handicap that aspiring women racers have to deal with – something most guys out there are capable of doing without strain.

      1. +1.

        There are many good female tennis players but I doubt many could cope against male players. Serena Williams is talented and strong, she could beat some of top 30 ATP players when fit, but she’s above the rest of female players in terms of physical profile, just like Navratilova was.

        I think a female driver needs to be talented and a ‘beast’ physically when compared to other women. I’ve never tried but I bet 50 laps in a F1 car is a big challenge to any human…

        Add the fact that there’s less interest from women, it makes the situation even harder because we’re are looking for a talented girl with unique physique and finding this magic combination in a small sample is not easy.

        1. Nope! Unfortunately that’s not even true. Both Williams sisters once claimed they could beat any man ranked below top 200. Karsten Braasch – ranked #203 at the time – took the challenge and beat both 6-2 and 6-1.

          Just too much physical difference in tennons but it is hars to say if the same would apply to F1. I would think not, but obviously there are not many fathers in the world that are devoting all there money and spare time to take their 3-year old daughters gokarting….

  4. I like the sound of the new V6 turbos more than the recent V8s actually…..can’t put my finger on why.

    Any ideas?…..or am I on my own here????

  5. Formula 1 needs a board of directors made up of majority shareholders. None of whom would be allowed to have any financial interest in any of the teams. I make it sound much simpler than it actually would be, but there is too much power in the hands of one man (Bernie).

    1. Umm.. The holding companies that own FOM (Delta Topco, Delta Prefco, etc) do have a board of directors made up only of equity holders (CVC, JP Morgan, BlackRock, LBI, TRS etc). They have put Bernie in charge, and can fire at any time. Bernie does not hold a majority stake in FOM.

  6. Kamui raises an interesting point. Something that is concerning me is the sheer spread of the field this year, particularly with regard to the 107% rule. In last weeks Bahrain test, only 13 race drivers were within 7% of Nico Rosbergs quickest time (14 if you include Felipe Nasr). Even Red Bull would have failed to qualify. Although it would be naive to assume that Melbourne qualifying will see the same spread, it seems nearly impossible that we will have a full 22-car grid in Melbourne.

    1. @jackysteeg – Kobayashi is just plain wrong. His best was a 39.855, whilst Leimer’s 2013 pole, and the fastest lap a GP2 car has ever done around Bahrain was a 39.427. OK, that’s four tenths quicker, but I somehow find it hard to imagine, bearing in mind all the issues Caterham and Renault have had, that a pedal to the medal qualifying lap was on the itinerary; Kobayashi was still probably running over a second off the car’s best. And owing to the fact that Mercedes did a qualifying lap, and got within a second of last year’s pole, I find it difficult to believe that Caterham are already nearly seven seconds off the pace at this early stage. Everyone’s a drama queen nowadays…

      1. Maybe Kobayashi is being tongue in cheek because he knows there is more pace to come, but it does make me wonder…was there so much debate last year about whether or not the F1 cars would be this close to GP2? I find even the fact that it is a debate, disturbing. And then there’s still the unknown as to what the real race pace will be of the F1 cars at hot venues once they have to monitor power unit temps and fuel consumption. JB is saying every lap will be different, and what was a braking point at a turn on one lap will be a different braking point at the same turn on the next lap. NR says that when they did a race sim at Bahrain they barely made it on fuel, and that’s during a test, and Melbourne should be harder on fuel…not to mention they’ll all be pressuring themselves by having to crank everything to the max for racing, so heat and fuel will only truly come into play on Sunday in Melbourne. I don’t know how they will do vs GP2 times, but I think with the heavier cars and the reduced aero, along with the heat and fuel monitoring, the cars are expected to ultimately be slower at least initially, than they were last year. I don’t see how they won’t be, but certainly it would be great if the cars are just as fast right out of the box and then will be even faster by the end of the season.

      2. Exactly, it should also be remembered that only Mercedes and Mclaren seem to have done any quali style low fuel runs (which is why I found it so ridiculous that Gary Anderson has done an article about the relative pace of the teams based on fastest laps). If you compare Mercedes own early testing times you were talking around about 1:39 so to say that half the cars on the grid will be outside because they’re behind in testing is, quite frankly, ridiculous. Its entirely possible that one or two teams will be struggling to meet the 107% time, what with Renault’s engine problems and Marussia’s problem with getting their car to actually run, but I don’t think the problem will be as severe as some people are making it out to be. I’d imagine that by Melbourne the only teams that struggle with it will be Caterham and Marussia, possibly not even Caterham if Renault can get their PU sorted and start allowing them to use full power.

  7. why does pedro de la rosa need a helmet for? protection against the rain maybe? and he even tweets it as if anyone would care! delusional!!!!
    on a different note: with or without pay, koba is going to get fired if he keeps doing such comments. i think he is cool, but a little dumb…dont throw stones at your own house!!! thats not being honest, thats being dumb!

    1. Hey! I do care, Pedro’s helmet and Hulkenberg’s are the only current ones that I like, besides he’s the (unofficial) reserve driver for all the Ferrari powered teams, so there’s a small but real chance he might race.

    2. with or without pay, koba is going to get fired if he keeps doing such comments. i think he is cool, but a little dumb…dont throw stones at your own house!!! thats not being honest, thats being dumb!

      But hey, Webber did the same thing for 4 years at Red Bull and he was a darling of the fans.

      1. Webber also won races, and had a good shot at the championship title. Two things Kobayashi has yet to do.

        1. @raceprouk I don’t think anybody at Caterham is askin KOB to win races…

      2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        26th February 2014, 9:48

        Also, I don’t really ever recall Webber saying that Red Bull produced a terrible car. He really only ever went after Sebastian and Helmut Marko.

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      26th February 2014, 11:20

      It’s almost as though he isn’t aware of what Caterham and Marussia – effectively their own sub-class that compete with each other to not finish last…

  8. Agreed with COTD; I felt very unsure two days ago when I read that article and found myself in complete disagreement.

    1. I felt sure about my feelings toward Hartstein. But the COTD says it well.

  9. The Ferrari video, uploaded from their official YouTube channel.
    Average amateur footage showing a quick fly-by, from the quality and wind noise, it looks to have been filmed on an iPhone!?
    Compare that to some promotional videos coming from other manufacturers recently.
    Little things like that worry me about that team, if that’s the best they have to release for a pre season testing teaser. They just seem behind.. Out of touch!?

  10. over the past decade there have been other instances where the slowest f1 car is at about the same lap time as the fastest gp2 car, so it is nothing new. But i think Kobayashi really wants to see improvement in the team, that is why he is saying this publically. each year they talk of pushing into the midfield and each year they do not do it, something needs to change.

  11. Regarding ‘On This Day’, Robert La Caze must be a contender for ‘oldest living driver to have started an F1 race’. I don’t have all the data to this on hand, so can anyone verify that or find a driver who’s older than 97?

    1. @keithcollantine I know Paul Pietsch used to be the oldest driver until he passed away in 2012. Anyway, there’s a forum topic that says La Caze is indeed the oldest driver.

    2. @keithcollantine I think he is the oldest, if comments in this thread are anything to go by.

  12. Had a good laugh at this…

    Bernie’s Trial gets New Twist
    Bernie Ecclestone is scheduled to have four court cases over the Gerhard Gribkowsky affair – and so far the score is played two, won two. The case against Bernie in New York was slung out by a judge and now the London High Court has ruled that he didn’t ask Gribkowsly to undervalue F1 either. Bernie is facing the same accusations in a Swiss court and also a German court.

    A spokesman for the team bosses said there was a great danger that F1 fans were being turned off by the same result every time and the outcome of Bernie’s trials were too predictable. So to keep fans interested, they have asked the court in Munich to impose double the sentence for the final trial of the season.


  13. Ok, Kobayashi may bring GP2 car but only uses the same 100kg fuel.

  14. I came upon this interesting piece from McLaren. First of all, I wouldn’t have thought they build only 4 cars nowadays, and then when compared to having up to 10-11 chassis, its another good illustration of why the restrictions on testing do save cost.

    1. Ya that was really interesting…thanks. I’m sure that must help the lesser teams, but then the other side of the coin is that the teams with money, including from money saved in one area, then will spend it on other areas such as better and better wind tunnels and simulators to make up far the lack of testing, as highlighted by LdM about a month ago.

  15. I guess it’s already old news by now, but I sure am thrilled at JV’s return to the Indy 500. I’ll be on the edge of my seat for it, which I haven’t been since he left.

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