Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, Bahrain, 2014

Caterham get go-ahead to use current chassis in 2015

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, Bahrain, 2014In the round-up: Caterham will be allowed to use their CT05 chassis again in the 2015 F1 season if they are able to find a buyer.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Caterham cleared to compete in F1 with same car in 2015 if buyer is found (The Guardian)

“Following Leafield-based Caterham’s appearance at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi last month, [administrator Finbarr] O’Connell had stated a deal before Christmas was crucial if the team were to survive.”

Hamilton: Alonso learned from 2007 (Autosport)

“Having the experience previously with Ron, he will definitely have a much better handle on it and won’t be in a tricky situation like last time.”

Update on Mark’s condition (Mark Webber)

“I’m quite sore this morning and am pretty bruised and have got a stinking headache. I’ve got no recollection of the accident or how it happened – the team is looking into the details to find out more.”

What Happens Now The Racing’s Over? (Esquire)

Rob Smedley: “When I joined the team in April, I did a lot of work to reorganise certain areas of the technical group, so it’s just more of the same really. We have a semblance of what is a decent technical group now and we’re able to exploit what is put in front of us.”

The First Time – with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas (F1)

“When was your first big accident in a race car?
VB: I remember very well: it was the first lap of my first go-kart race. I hit the barriers because I didn’t know that you have to brake. But the next time I learned!”

Why the shadow of Al-Qaeda hangs over Bernie Ecclestone’s F1 plans for Qatar (Daily Mail)

“This is the full brother of the man currently negotiating to bring F1 to Qatar, a figure honoured by Qatar’s Olympic committee as recently as 2013, sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for terrorism and tweeting messages of support for Osama bin Laden three weeks ago.”

A round-up of bits and bobs (Joe Saward)

“Bahrain is currently negotiating a new deal for 2017 – 2021, so perhaps the sudden appearance of an atmospheric bid from Qatar might be more than meets the eye.”

Pagenaud auctions Senna tribute helmet (IndyCar)

“Now [Simon] Pagenaud is auctioning the helmet, with all proceeds directed to the Ayrton Senna Institute benefiting children’s literacy in Brazil. The auction site features photos and videos of Pagenaud and the helmet, as well as videos from Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan talking about the helmet.”


Comment of the day

Will Vettel be energised by a change of team after six years at Red Bull and many more on their young driver programme?

The way his facial expression is lit up, it reminds me a lot of the ‘old’ Vettel of 2008-2010 – it’s weird to realise now that he slowly but surely grew a bit… tired? Of the way things were at Red Bull. Not just in 2014, but the above expression was not there for the last two to three years either.

It’s a good thing how he genuinely seems to be impressed by finally getting to be part of the ‘legend’ that is the most decorated team in F1 history, but he’ll need some otherworldly act to get the Prancing Horse back to championships. Even his direct predecessor, arguably the best driver of this era, couldn’t manage it before, so…

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Katederby and Us Williams Fan!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

This time last year mandatory pit stops were rumoured to form part of the new regulations for 2014. F1 Fanatic readers were strongly against it, and happily it did not form part of this year’s rules.

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  • 71 comments on “Caterham get go-ahead to use current chassis in 2015”

    1. In some interesting side news Jean Eric Verne as well as Alexander Rossi will likely be in the Verizon Indycar field for the 2015 season so wish them luck.

      1. The Vergne rumours was in the round-up a couple of days ago.

        As for Rossi, it’s curious to see he’s viewing IndyCar more positively than he was a year ago:

        Younger drivers ‘more concerned about safety’

        More here:

        2015 IndyCar drivers and teams

        1. @keithcollantine:
          I’ve observed the same kind of re-assessment in Jenson Button. During the early summer, I remember him saying that endurance racing wasn’t really his cup of tea, as he didn’t like the fact that you constantly have to be gentle with your car, or that you’re constantly lapping cars from slower categories.
          Things have certainly changed since then.

      2. Maybe their eyes are on Haas F1 team… wish them luck.

    2. A 2014 Caterham, using a 2014-spec engine (as I read somewhere the other teams said they’d be OK with, not sure about the rule-making chaps), against everyone else’s 2015 cars… what’s the point of them even being there? There’s no point existing in a second division if you’re the only team in it.

      1. I don’t think there will be any 2014 PU’s available, it will be cheaper to buy and fit the 2015 version. The dimensions are not meant to change, although there maybe some cooling considerations needed.

      2. @neilosjames Even if Caterham run at the back of the field a la second division without any competition, they are sure to get the prize money for 10th place in 2015 if they simply participate in almost every round of championship whether they develop their car or not, if they could get into the 107% quali lap time for the first race at least. Makes sense?

      3. I think the point is to give a potential buyer time. Basically they are saying, buy the team, make a token effort in 2015 and then for next year, you can go make a real effort.

        It’s very good that they have done this.

      4. Guaranteed champions though?

      5. I assume there will be an inventory of unused 2014 engines supplus too requirement and cheap. So it only makes sense from that angle.

      6. @neilosjames – 100% agree. What is the point?

        They were already much slower than the rest and now it’s going to be even worse now. They will simply exist to try and get within 107% so their pay drivers can crawl around at the back on their own….

        It’s one thing throwing money at something and hoping you might be lucky but there’s no luck to be found here! They have a car which is slower than the rest and they are going to continue using that whilst the other develop and improve theirs. Who would invest in that!?

    3. Thanks for the COTD, @keithcollantine. (Again. :P)

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        2nd December 2014, 8:15

        @atticus-2, well deserved COTD!

        I thought exactly the same when I saw his smile when sitting in the Ferrari roadcar. He reminded me of the very likeable young kid Vettel of the Toro Rosso years!

      2. It just seems strange to see him in a Ferrari! But it is a dream he has now fufilled.

    4. That Catherham won’t last the whole season I guess.

      1. @OmarR-pepper But if Caterham could run at almost all rounds without even developing their car (thereby saving the development cost) but make it to the 107% quali time in one race at least they would have guaranteed prize money in 2015 since the field is only going to be 10 constructors.

      2. I think the point is to make the team more desirable to a buyer. If there is no buyer, clearly, they will fold.

        1. @mike – What would appeal to a buyer though? They are going to use a car that was slower than everyone else’s 2014 car against their newly developed cars!?

          Is there any confirmation about prize money going to the team in 10th even if there is only 10 teams?

          1. @petebaldwin

            I read that there are 2 parts to F1 prize money – the first part is based on finishing position in the WCC while the second part is based on the constructor finishing in the top 10 for 2 of the past 3 seasons.

            Since Caterham did not finish in the top 10 in 2013 or 2014, they might not get the second part of the prize money (which would be a large amount compared to what they get in the first part) in 2015 unless they are considered to be 10th this season due to Marussia pulling out. So I don’t see any appeal to a buyer either.


    5. Qatar is a liability. Ecclestone never thinks these things through.

      1. @stigsemperf

        Why is Qatar a liability?

        1. Their bid for the World Cup was questionable. What’s stopping them doing something unethical here?

          1. @stigsemperfi What kind of unethical thing do you mean? Giving Bernie lots and lots of money? Isn’t that what everyone else does?

            1. The whole vote rigging saga? Anyway, bottom line is if someone waves a massive check in front of Bernie, he will give them a race. I don’t see an end to this.

            2. @stigsemperfi

              F1 does not even a pretense of democracy like FIFA so no votes need to be rigged…

          2. @stigsemperfi – They will be doing something unethical though! They are after a GP!

            Whereas football pretends that everything is above board and that there is a fair vote, F1 openly admits that if you want a GP, you simply have to pay Bernie more anyone else who wants one.

            Frankly, the process to get a World Cup is basically the same thing as getting a GP. Pay the right people enough money until it’s yours.

      2. He thinks these things through very carefully. But his thought process goes something like “Is this a good ide- MONEY! YES! DEAL!”

      3. The MotoGP races there have always been fine.

      4. Actually I have mixed feelings about Qatar. I think it’s one of the most modern states in Mid-East but parts of their society is very sympathetic to radical views. If the promoter has shown love to radical Islam, it’s a “no go”, F1 needs to impose itself some limits.

    6. Mark Webber has certainly had his share of VERY scary looking accidents over the years, and I was wondering if this latest nasty shunt might have put thoughts of retirement into his head. He has since stated that he is “already looking forward to getting out there again next year”, so apparently not! I certainly wouldn’t hold it against the guy if he did decide to call it a career, but I’m so glad to hear that he’s ok, and will be fighting for a WEC championship again next season.

      1. @schooner They only have to race a few weekends a year and and one of those is Le Mans. It’s nothing compared to F1 where they have to be there week in week out. He visits Australia so much more, goes to other sports events, etc. Meanwhile he gets to race a very competetive car in a world championship for his favourite car manufacturer. He won’t retire untill they ask him I think. And he hasn’t won a race in WEC yet so that’s still one of his goals.

        1. Yes, but the races dont last a maximum of two hours, like in F1, most of them go on for 6 hours.

          1. The point was that he gets to visit home more because he has more free weekends. Doesn’t matter how long the races are because you’re at the track anyway.

            I imagine there is a lot less press work as well.

        2. @xtwl You’re right. For a driver like Webber, who has experienced the grind (and some of the glory) of many competitive seasons in F1, his highly paid seat with a big team in the WEC must be a pretty sweet (and still quite prestigious) way to ply his trade for a few more years. If (when?) Button gets dumped, I hope to see him there as well.

      2. …at least the car stayed on the ground this time.


      Hardly a surprise, now that Ford is folding its manufacturing Ops in Australia. Ford says they want to invest their money elsewhere…interesting to speculate though. This leaves Ford participating in only 2 top tier categories, WRC and NASCAR…would they be planning a return to Le Mans in 2016? Ford has been pushing the envelope with their EcoBoost engines for the past couple years now, participating in the WEC will be a matter of due cause of they decide to push ahead. If this is anything to go by..

      The future is promising, albeit not being an LMP1 entry.

      Of course, the dream will be for them to return to F1, another top manufacturer will be most welcome.

      1. Oeiiiiiiiiiiii! (another davidnotcoulthard account) (@)
        2nd December 2014, 5:20

        We had Cosworth engines 2/3 years ago so that was as close as we had.

      2. Very very sad, especially as a Ford fan, but it doesn’t mean the end of Ford in V8’s entirely. I think teams will still run Fords, just without the manufacturer’s backing, much like Erebus. Just they’ll probably be using Mondeo’s in a few years =/

        1. My family members that follow the V8’s follows Ford so this is disappointing news. But hopefully they will still compete with something else. Maybe the new Mustangs?

      3. @jaymenon10, I was under the impression that Ford had partially withdrawn from the WRC too (there is no official works team, only legacy support to privateer entrants).

        1. Richard Hornby
          2nd December 2014, 9:57

          The Ganassi team in the TUSCC uses Ford Ecoboost engines (or did last year) – Ford do seem to becoming more of a supplier than a manufacturer, though

    8. I agree with the COTD, I’m not a Vettel or Ferrari fan but I always like to see changes after many years with the same driver-team combination, it allows to see how easy they’re able to adapt and how they measure against other teammate, and I’m sure it’s reinvigorating not only for the driver but for the team as well, specially if it’s a multiple world champion.

    9. Actually, after two races without Marussia and Caterham, and one with only Caterham, I think I have to admit that Bernie was at least partially right when he said that F1 doesn’t need Marussia or Caterham. Yes, they can give young drivers a chance at F1 (e.g. Jules Bianchi) but almost every single driver for a team like them is a pay driver, and just ask anyone on this site what they think about pay drivers. Also, yes, they give young engineers a chance to ply their trade in F1 and gain some experience that will make them more attractive to a larger team, but the engineers won’t have much of a chance to work on or develop their car, with such limited budgets. Also, these teams can actually harm smaller companies that make specialized equipment for use in high level motorsport, as the equipment purchased from these companies is often very expensive to produce, and teams like Marussia and Caterham buy the equipment on the promise of payment at some future date, but as we have seen, that future date never comes. And then there’s my final point, and I think maybe the most important: the racing is no worse without them. I think the last few races of 2014 have been great, and at no point during them did I think anything even close to “oh wow, I really wish there were four more cars that won’t get shows on TV anyway that are just getting in the way of the front runners and mid-fielders.” So don’t get me wrong, I’m sad that Marussia has folded and Caterham is on the brink. Of course I don’t want a team (or two) to fold. But I doubt I’ll miss them.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        2nd December 2014, 8:36

        @zjakobs, I actually disagree with your assessment.
        the reason they went bankrupt and cannot pay staff/suppliers is because BE is keeping money for himself/investors rather than sharing fairly (like Premier League), whilst FIA’s regulations does not allow for proper cost management;
        they did pay almost all of their bills! During the 5 years in the sport they spent some €400M each. Thus if owing €20M today they paid 95% of their bills, and part of monies owed will be recouped by the administrator;
        The staff they employ have families and mortgages, which they could support/pay over the past years;;
        They actually performed quite well. I believe that they qualified for every race over the past 5 years. They were most of the time well within the 7%; I recall some other teams who missed that mark in the past;
        I did think the race in Austin missed the 2 smaller teams. It could have been a nice fight with the Sauber and other slower drivers (incl. some big names);
        the only reason they have ‘pay drivers’ is because of my first point above (BE taking all the money);
        and last but not least. I rather see a diverse grid than just 4 RBR/TR combos.

        1. @coldflyf1 I don’t think we’re in complete disagreement, as I never analyzed the cause of their collapse. I think you’re completely right that Bernie is at fault for all of this, and I really do hope that today’s cost summit will (but being realistic, it won’t) find a more equitable distribution of F1’s prize money. But your opinion is actually very interesting anyway.

            1. @coldfly also see above. And just to let you know, if I were holding a long-distance rifle (or any gun for that matter) and Bernie were in my sights, pulling the trigger wouldn’t be hard. I only agree with him in that I think F1 doesn’t need Caterham or Marussia.

            2. ColdFly F1 (@)
              2nd December 2014, 17:03

              @zjakobs, thanks mate.
              You’re right, we’re not that far apart. I will not repeat the rifle comment though; but that does not mean I disagree ;)
              In the end I’d rather see 2 additional teams fighting with the big guys than being the guaranteed drop-outs in Q1.
              And most importantly I want to see drivers in F1 who deserve it based on their skills rather than funding.

      2. I think Bernie have a lot of money to support Marussia and Caterham, Losing the backmarkers will ruin F1 reputation too. I fully respect your opinion but I disagree with you @zjakobs, and we all know that Bernie is making F1 worse right now, IMO he need to go

      3. @zjakobs – I agree with the general sentiment. I didn’t miss Marussia or Catherham at any of the races they missed and wouldn’t miss them next year.

        F1 needs the top drivers in reasonably competitive cars, not pay drivers in uncompetitive cars.

        The reason they are struggling so much is down to Bernie. He was right that F1 doesn’t need uncompetitive teams but the reason they are uncompetitive is because of him. No-one will be able to start up a new stand-alone F1 team and be competitive whilst Bernie is alive sadly.

        Also, @coldfly, I’ve heard the mortgage/family argument loads on here and it’s a valid point but it’s also relevant to the suppliers who haven’t been paid. They also have families and mortgages. It worries me that there is a suggestion that they will be spending money to go racing instead of spending the money to pay people they owe and because of that, it just doesn’t sit right with me.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          2nd December 2014, 17:24

          @petebaldwin, @zjakobs
          Not that it makes it any better for the small guys who are owed a few thousand GBP, but based on the list of Caterham Creditors most money is owed to: Renault, Red Bull, Toyota, Total, DELL, Travel Places (American Express).

          I am glad that the crowdfunding paid a few weeks extra salary to the engineers rather than paying off these big companies.

          1. @coldfly Thanks for posting that list of Caterham’s creditors, that’s really useful!

    10. Seeing that Ricciardo tweet, does anyone know how well F1 drivers and teams handle photography copyrights? I’ve seen quite a few riots about artists not understanding how copyrights works the over past years. Makes me wonder if this is handled more professionaly in sports.

    11. Oeiiiiiiiiiiii! (another davidnotcoulthard account) (@)
      2nd December 2014, 5:19

      They could’ve bought Marussia’s chassis and call that the CT06……..

    12. Oeiiiiiiiiiiii! (another davidnotcoulthard account) (@)
      2nd December 2014, 5:25

      Ah Mark….That flipping Merc, that Red Bull gives you wings thing, and no this!

    13. Yesterday I saw a very interesting piece in AmuS (German – about the engines and changes teams want to make – Renault apparently finding it won’t manage copying the Mercedes solution due to time constraints. But before you say: “see, they need more time allowance” be aware that Ferrari started their 2015 development in July, but Renault waited until … August. No wonder then, that they won’t be able to change all of it in time.

      1. @bascb Renault isn’t going to be ready at the beginning of next year, no doubt. They won’t be running full-power before May/June, which means their teams will be playing catch-up for a few months at least.

        They weren’t ready for 2014, and it looks like they’re not going to be ready for 2015. I don’t get how they run their business these past few years.

        1. Meanwhile, it’s not like Mercedes will sit and wait for them to improve …

      2. @bascb Surely after last year, they’d do whatever it takes to get a competitive engine ready for the start of the 2015 season!?

        If they mess this up, they’re in trouble. Red Bull won’t hang around and if Honda’s entry this year is successful, I wouldn’t be surprised if Red Bull start 2016 with a brand new engine supplier such as BMW or Audi…

        1. Audi won’t be joining anytime soon @peterbaldwin. Its more likely RBR will just take over the engine factory from Renault and run it themselves, that is, if Mateschitz doesn’t decide that he has had it with F1.

          I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Goshn walking away from F1 after another year like the last one. And even when they had success together, everything that went wrong was blamed on them by RBR in the last 5 years.

          1. @bascb – Yeah that’s another option for them. Either way, if Renault don’t get it together for this season, Red Bull will have a new engine supplier for 2016 and I can’t see it being Mercedes, Ferrari or Honda!

    14. I don’t really understand the point about Caterham using this year’s chassis next year. As far as I knew, the regulations for the chassis aren’t changing, so there’s no reason why it wouldn’t be elligible to compete anyway. Doesn’t seem to be something they would need special dispensation for. The nose regs are changing, perhaps it’s more to do with using this year’s nose next year?

      But I’ll still be very surprised if they’re here next year at all.

      1. @mazdachris I don’t get it either, I thought the same as you. I don’t think that it’s about the nose though as I read somewhere that they were applying to run this year’s chassis with an updated 2015 nose in which case I don’t understand why they need specialpermission. Surely if they designed and built it and it conforms with the technical regs it’s irrelevant whether they already used it in 2014?

        1. @jerseyf1 The only thing I can think is that, since the team itself has effectively folded and would need new owners in order to continue, it could be argued that the team that lines up on the grid next year is not actually the Caterham F1 team. If it’s not the same team, then they would be expected to develop their own chassis, otherwise they would be using a customer car effectively. Maybe this is the dispensation – that whoever buys the team’s facilities and F1 entry, would be allowed to use the old team’s car rather than develop their own one.

          1. I think you can attend with the chassis that was bought off a defunct team @mazdachris @jerseyf1 – remember Super Aguri starting their first year with an updated chassis originally developped by Arrows?

            The dispensation is mainly because of the engine – normally all engine manufacturers have to deliver the same homologated spec of engine to all their customers (most likely that was to prevent using a better one for the factory team), so there had to be a dispensation for allowing Caterham to use the 2014 years homologated engine (instead of the 2015 one that will be used by RBR and STR) so they do not have to readapt the car for the bits Renault changes during the winter, especially exhausts etc.

    15. When’s this blasted McLaren driver announcement gonna happen?!

      1. Last rumor i heard was Thursday after a McLaren Board meeting.

    16. Hopefully this tweet from Magnussen means Button will keep his seat, at least for the next year.

    17. As for Vergne, I would prefer a seat with Penske/Ganassi/Andretti over a Toro Rosso seat any day, I would have a strong change of becoming an IndyCar WORLD champion and, better, winning the Indy 500…becoming of the best racing drivers in the world…GO FOR IT MATE!

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