Fernandes blames "big teams" for failure


Caterham F1 team founder Tony Fernandes believes the sport's big teams must take some of the responsibility for his outfit's demise.

As the dream that was Lotus and then Caterham lies in ruins, its workers facing unemployment, suppliers hoping that some of the monies owed might be salvaged and lawyers looking likely to come out of the whole sorry saga the best rewarded, Fernandes has hit out at the sport.

"People can blame whoever, but the big teams are as much at fault as anyone," he told Sky Sports. "The gap has become way too big and it's money. So I thought, 'Well, I can't compete', but I can compete at QPR, I can compete at Air Asia.

"The sport has to examine itself as well," he continued. "Ultimately, we couldn't carry on and we would have eventually gone into administration anyway or closed down the team."

Ignoring the fact that earlier this week he threatened to walk out on QPR, the fact is that with his obviously successful background the Malaysian businessman should have had some idea of what he was walking in to.

Yes, along with Virgin and HRT, he was enticed by the promise of a budget cap that would level the playing field, but not for nothing is the expression 'The Piranha Club' used in reference to the cabal at the right end of the paddock.

The self interest of teams is nothing new, whilst the paddock is littered with the rotting carcasses of teams that tried and failed.

Caterham was never going to challenge the big teams, it would take a move of seismic proportions within the sport for that to happen, but it could have made its mark in the midfield.

In his first season Fernandes was clearly revelling in the limelight, proudly showing off the famous cap given to him by (Lotus founder) Colin Chapman's family. However, as time went on, and the name changed, less and less was seen of Fernandes, he was clearly losing interest, and soon the quit threats began.

Of course, this negativity filters down, and like a ship without a captain, Caterham began to flounder.

Yes, one can point the finger of blame at the big teams, Bernie Ecclestone, CVC and the FIA, however, for the most part Fernandes knew exactly what he was getting in to, he will have heard the worn-out cliche of; 'how do you make a small fortune from F1...'

However, despite the sport's abandoning of the budget cap, which was down to the self interest of the big teams, he knew precisely what he was getting in to.

Chris Balfe

Article from Pitpass (http://www.pitpass.com):

Published: 29/10/2014
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.