‘No surprise’ Caterham struggling in 2012 – Kovalainen
Caterham has announced it will move into its new factory after this weekend’s Hungarian grand prix
It emerged in January that the Tony Fernandes-led team would relocate to the former Arrows and Super Aguri facility in Leafield, Oxfordshire. From its 2010 inception, the former Team Lotus has been based in Hingham, Norfolk.
Formula one is split over a new proposal to allow ‘customer cars’ on the grid.
The idea is being powered chiefly by Ferrari and Bernie Ecclestone, and marketed as a way to cut costs by opening a new revenue stream for the big teams and reducing the design and manufacturing burden for struggling minnows.
Caterham is targeting a major step forward for next month’s British grand prix.
The former Team Lotus outfit has been disappointed so far in 2012 to have failed to step regularly into the Q2-range of midfield teams. But in Canada last weekend, both Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov outqualified a Toro Rosso, while the bottom-two teams Marussia and HRT have now been clearly left behind.
Force India has accused rivals Caterham of saving millions and then reaping even more millions by stealing their secret technical data.
A British court last week awarded Vijay Mallya’s team EUR 25,000 when Caterham and wind tunnel company Aerolab were found to have based models of the 2010 Team Lotus car on computer files owned by former Aerolab client Force India.
Years after F1′s ‘spygate’ sagas, the issue could be set to return to the very top of the governing body’s agenda.
The case was heard at the High Court, London during January 2012
Following the publication of Team Lotus wind tunnel model pictures in November 2009, Force India Formula One Team lodged a complaint with the Criminal Court in Italy and subsequently commenced civil proceedings in the UK High Court, citing concerns in respect of Team Lotus, Aerolab and Mike Gascoyne illegally copying Force India Formula One Team design intellectual property accessed from secure files held at Aerolab.
2012 will be a novel season for Karun Chandhok as the Indian prepares to collect a pay-packet.
After two seasons of paying to race with HRT (2010) and serving as Team Lotus’ reserve driver (2011), the 27-year-old will actually be paid as he contests FIA endurance sports car races with the JRM team this year.
Alexander Rossi reflects on 2011 a year of ‘hard work’ and ‘many new successes’
American youngster Alexander Rossi believes he is now ‘many steps closer to F1′ following a successful 2011. Rossi, who finished third overall in the World Series by Renault 3.5 Series this year and who is also a senior member of the Team Lotus (now Caterham) F1 Driver development programme, added he is ‘excited’ about 2012 and the future, although his plans for next season have still to be officially announced.
Karun Chandhok will not necessarily reprise his role as Team Lotus’ reserve and occasional ‘Friday’ practice driver in 2012
The Indian has acknowledged that, after a full season in the role this year, it is unlikely he will step into a race seat ahead of 2012. “It’s very difficult to secure a seat in F1 unless you have substantial financial backing,” he told the Times of India.
Karun Chandhok is exploring options in the new World Endurance Championship as a means of keeping himself race ready in 2012
Heikki Kovalainen has refused to rule out switching to another team if Caterham does not take a big step forward in 2012.
With his reputation damaged after disappointing subsequent tenures at Renault and McLaren, the Finn moved to the start-up Team Lotus in 2010 where in the past two seasons he has rebuilt his confidence and form.
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