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Caterham rains on Marussia's parade

NEWS STORY
25/11/2012

Mat Coch writes:

Ferrari is not the only team heading into the off season disappointed, Marussia having lost tenth place in the Constructors' Championship almost within sight of the finish line.

Twelfth place in Singapore was not only the Banbury outfit's best ever result in Formula One but it crucially moved it into tenth in the Constructors' Championship ahead of Caterham. The position is the last one with financial benefits courtesy of Bernie Ecclestone's FOM, which add up to millions of dollars.

However the wet and wild Brazilian Grand Prix gave Caterham an opportunity to reclaim the spot, Vitaly Petrov finishing eleventh following Paul di Resta's heavy late-race crash. Just laps earlier the Russian had passed Charles Pic for twelfth, while a hard-charging and fast closing Daniel Ricciardo was ultimately thwarted by the end of race Safety Car in his quest to pass the pair.

Pic had run ahead of Petrov for some time, the Frenchman, who is Caterham bound in 2013, was caught out when letting Michael Schumacher's Mercedes lap him. It gave Petrov the opportunity to pounce, moving the Caterham into twelfth spot and shattering Marussia's dreams.

"On balance, we deserved to regain tenth place," claimed Caterham team principcal Cyril Abiteboul. "Our results over the whole season were better than our nearest rivals and when it mattered we were able to seize the opportunity that came our way.

"I want to say how proud we are of the job we've done today," he added. "It's been a tough year, one where we have not performed at the level we want to, but today we have very good reason to celebrate."

Over the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend the team confirmed Pic would be joining the Leafield squad for 2013 on a multi-year deal; however it failed to confirm who would partner the young Frenchman.

Prior to the race it was believed Heikki Kovalainen's Formula One career could be over, Caterham understood not to be in a position to pay him had it not finished tenth in the championship and the Finn openly refusing to become a pay driver.

That scenario may well have changed now, though Kovalainen will face stiff opposition from a number of other drivers in search of a race seat, many of whom are able to bring finance to the team.

After claiming tenth in the championship so narrowly whoever the team does sign will be a statement of its ambition heading in to 2013.

Check out our Grand Prix gallery, here.

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