Monday, March 11, 2013

Engine Blood Team Profile: Caterham-Renault

ESTABLISHED: 2010 (as Team Lotus)

HISTORY: After having their original name nicked by Toleman/Benetton/Renault as part of their never ending quest to absorb as many names as possible, the reassuringly old-coloured team have earned the dubious title of "Best of the Worst", having headed the other brand expansion teams for the entirety of their existence.  Boss Tony Fernandes is currently having a Premier League nightmare so don't be surprised if the money runs out this term.

20. Charles PIC (FRA)
21. Giedo van der GARDE (NED)

Oh, lord; you know, there was an article on BBC Sport today that sold itself with the assertion that this year had "arguably the strongest driver line-up in years".  Let's just consider that assertion for a second: last year we had Michael Schumacher, the greatest ever to turn a wheel; Japan's human highlight reel, Kamui Kobayashi; The Unfortunate Vitaly Petrov; and the vastly underrated Heikki Kovalainen and Timo Glock.  And that's without mentioning the somewhat disappointing entry in the Senna dynasty.

Who do we now have instead?  The aforementioned Chilton and Bianchi, this van der Garde nobody, Gutierrez and Bottas (who at least show some promise) and the non-heralded return of Slugger Sutil.  I suppose that's why they said it was "arguably" the strongest line-up; I'd just love to know what the argument was.

And yes, I know we haven't mentioned Charles Pic at all in this section.

2012 PERFORMANCE: 10th place, 0 points.

The Vastly Underrated Heikki KOVALAINEN (FIN): 22nd, 0 points.  Best finish: 13th, Monaco and Abu Dhabi
The Unfortunate Vitaly PETROV (RUS): 19th, 0 points.  Best finish: 11th, Brazil

These two really impressed Engine Blood last year, so - yes, you guessed it - they got sacked.  Petrov proved he could graft and Kovalainen continued his rehabilitation from Hamilton-hamstrung time at McLaren.

Nevertheless, they were teetering on the brink of embarrassment for most of the season, before snatching 10th place at the very death and condemning Marussia to the dunce's hat.  Not bad, except they'd promised to score points, and, well...  (walks away whistling)

2013 PROSPECTS: Hoping Marussia don't collapse so they can at least point to not being the worst team on the grid, and that Harry Redknapp can keep QPR up so they can keep some of the Fernandes millions.

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