Why Andre Lotterer is driving for Caterham

André Lotterer will drive for Caterham F1 Team at the Belgian Grand Prix and it is not really a great surprise. The team’s primary goal is to improve the performance of the CT05 and while Kamui Kobayashi is quick, he is not famed for his technical feedback, while the team’s second driver Marcus Ericsson does not yet have the experience to do the job but is still providing funding for the team and so the Swede remains in the second car. It’s a tough break for Kobayashi but one can understand why the team had taken the decision to try another driver. There were lengthy discussions with Britain’s James Rossiter but he is busy in Japan.

On paper, Lotterer is a German. His father was a German-Peruvian motorsport engineer Henri Lotterer but when Andre was three the family moved to Belgium and Henri established a racing team called RAS, best known in the 1980s as the team that prepared Volvos for the European Touring Car Championship. So Andre grew up in Belgium, attended school in Nivelles and cut his teeth in competition there. Today he is officially resident in Monaco, spends several months a year in Japan but returns to Belgium on a regular basis to see his mother, who remains there. His father died several years ago.

It is also often forgotten that Lotterer was a Formula 1 test driver with the Jaguar Racing team back in 2002 but did not find a way to break into Grand Prix racing and so headed to Japan where he built himself a very successful career in Formula Nippon and the Japanese Super GT Championship. he was the Formula Nippon champion in 2011. This led to him being recruited by the Audi factory sportscar team and to his three Le Mans victories in 2011, 2012 and earlier this year. The team believes that Lotterer will provide them with the feedback that is needed in order to make changes to the Caterham that will give the team a chance to score points in the latter part of the season. It is a tough challenge but Lotterer is clearly up for it because he is giving up a Japanese Super Formula race in Motegi to compete at Spa, which will impact his chances in that series, in which he is lying second, battling former Williams F1 driver Kazuki Nakajima, his team-mate, for the title. The team says that weather also plays a big role at Spa-Francorchamps and Lotterer is one of the most experienced drivers racing in mixed conditions, thanks to his considerable experience on Japanese tracks.

“I’m ready for this challenge and I cannot wait to jump in the car and make the most out of the weekend ahead,” said Lotterer. “I will need to get settled and used to the car quickly, as the team has worked on a number of updates and we will need to have as much time as possible out on track to optimise the car’s performance. I really enjoy racing at the legendary circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, it’s one of my favourite tracks and it’s very close to where I grew up, so this makes the weekend even more special.”

89 thoughts on “Why Andre Lotterer is driving for Caterham

  1. Harsh on Kamui but lotterer is one hell of a nice guy and as joe says great at driving in all conditions.

    Joe – would you say this is more of a one off or could this be an avenue for him into F1 in some capacity?

    1. There’s as much chance of this deal making any difference to Caterham as … well anything else really. As for proving anything, with respect, IMHO results will speak for themselves.

  2. He’d have to be a ” car whisperer” to tame the unruly bronco that is the CT05. Mind you, as the saying goes; ‘ in F1 anything can happen……’

    1. They’ve improved the design of the nose which is a start I suppose, frankly anything would be better than the previous lego brick effect

  3. Do you think it’s purely down to the experience Caterham hope to gain, or is money somehow involved in it as well? For instance, I can see how Kobayashi’s lack of sponsorship might hurt his chances.

  4. As much as people say he is there because of experience is trying to pull wool over us. He is there for funding. There is no way he will be on the pace and add to that any upgrades this weekend will mean nothing as he didn’t drive the car on other tracks in different set ups. This will do more harm than good if they are seriously thinking his direction will tell them what to improve. With all the sensors etc, the engineers will know better. Why don’t they just say the truth, he is bringing cash and we can use that to better the car. Nothing against this guy, but he has been suckered in and is too old for any team wanting his service in f1 for the future. I would like to think he is looking at it as a once of a life time thing, but if it was me id be racing in Nippon instead of being used.

      1. No way to prove anything, but sounds more plausible to me than the caterham statement. The guy is losing to Nakajima in the same team. That speaks volumes…

      2. Isn’t it in fact rather obvious ?

        I mean seriously . Its been how long since Lotter’s had his buns in an F1 car ? And the technology and skills just to drive one … never mind analyze what any problems may be… have changed how much since then ? Not to mention almost every aspect of a current F1 race having changed since then … none of which [ F1 Race ] the man has ever participated in ? Ever ! Then for the ultimate coup d’gras … lets consider Lotter’s age as well 😉

        In conclusion …. when one does the math rather than believing the hype being put forth by Caterham’s Smoke & Mirrors department ; Lotter’s filling Caterham’s F1 seat rapidly becomes a blatant case of 1+1=3 . e.g . The math doesn’t add up unless you do factor in a healthy dose of funding into the equation .

        And on that Joe good sir … I’d stake a healthy wager upon . A very healthy wager indeed .

        1. A.) Lotterer is a top Audi driver, and these days the Sportscars are if not a match in most respects, to an F1 car, then in all probability they are actually more advanced than an F1 car! So Lotterer could quite easily bring much valued insight into the technical aspects of the CT5. Also, he is quick. And B,) at 32 he may not be a Foetus to settle into an F1 seat, as now seems to be the most desirable age for seats with the teams, but he is hardly an OAP either and could have a reasonable F1 career with a team. This focus on finding the youngest possible, personality free, child to drive F1 cars, is absurd.

      3. I respectfully suggest Greg has no need to do so. He has simply made deductions to validate his own subjective opinion, much in the same way you have in the article above. Lotterer *may* be good at providing technical feedback but he has zero F1 racing experience. If you’re looking for that kind of driver, someone like Heidfeld, Glock, Kovalainen or possibly Di Resta who all have proven F1 RACING pedigree would be more suitable choices IMHO.

        1. Bob, I respectfully read your post and understand your points. But Caterham isn’t looking for a new racer, they are looking for someone to evaluate the current package, not necessarily to extract the maximum out of it right away. That data can then serve to have the assigned drivers after Spa end up with better equipment. What a development driver does, basically. Caterham hopes this has a long-term effect in netting some points this year still, or even highlighting certain flaws in the engineering dept. Caterham does not expect Lotterer to race for victory.

              1. Speedy Bob, I understand your point and would agree to some extent however if I were to rephrase my previous statement to read as..

                “Lotterer *may* be good at providing technical feedback but he has zero experience with contemporary F1 machinery. If you’re looking for that kind of driver, someone like Heidfeld, Glock, Kovalainen or possibly Di Resta who all have a baseline of performance of contemporary F1 machinery would be more suitable choices IMHO.”

                …you may see my point. Yes, no one is expecting Lotterer (or anyone else) to win in the Caterham however given he has no baseline to draw comparisons to, even as a development driver he offers less than the drivers I’ve mentioned. The Hype revelation does more to suggest his drive is being funded in some shape or form.

      4. I will prove it for you Joe, his ride in Spa is paid by energy drinks company “Hype Energy”: http://www.hype.com/news/f1-dream-a-reality-for-lotterer/

        This enough proof for you?
        If Caterham really wanted an experienced FORMULA 1 driver to provide technical feedback they would have hired Heikki Kovalainen back for 1 race, not a rookie, albeit a rookie driver who is rated extremely highly.

          1. in the meantime it has surfaced that Hype Energy paid 300,000$ to Caterham to let Lotterer drive. Lotterer may drive again in Monza since Merhi, who’s sponsors raised 300,000$ for Monza, does not have a super licence yet.

    1. I agree with your point concerning the difficulty of Andre being able to provide comparative input, but I don’t think a WEC champion, three-time LeMans winner and Super Formula championship contender is being suckered in by a backmarker team.

      Wouldn’t it be interesting if he was gathering info for Audi to help inform a buy Caterham/run away decision. Audi knows hybrid technology as well as anyone, it would be most interesting to see them in F1. I doubt this is the case, but I like a crazy idea as much as the next guy.

    2. Why would racing in formula Nippon be better? It’s not as if it’s a feeder series (at least that argument doesn’t apply for Lotterer). He has raced there many years and is undoubtedly being paid to race there, not bringing cash to be on the grid. He doesn’t have as much to loose as you’d think. Ok, he’s second in the championship, but even if the F1 gig doesn’t bring success, what harm does it do? Ultimately loosing the Nippon championship this year? He’ll be back next year, he’s been around for almost a decade there. If the F1 gig turns out well, he’ll benefit. A chance to race F1 in Spa and you would opt out? I wouldn’t.

    3. I couldn’t agree more. Not only has this guy had zero experience with this chassis…he’s had zero experience with this formula altogether (sure, the Audi LM runs a hybrid formula, but what of it…). You’re unlikely to convince Joe of anything though once he has expressed his opinion. “WORLD CLASS!”

  5. As Kovalainen showed last year, even in a quick car with considerable experience and reasonable talent, getting the best out of the tricky Pirelli tires on race day is quite difficult. Practice and qualifying aren’t too tricky, but following that up on race day is a different challenge.

    I hope Lotterer does well, and I’ll be rooting for him, but throwing him in mid-season with no testing makes me wonder if they desperately need feedback during practice and qualifying and they’re willing to throw away a decent race result to get it.

  6. One has to feel sorry for Cowboy but, it’s a harsh world. Lotterer is always visibly quick in the Audi and looks to be on the edge all the time and appears to have that little something extra. Caterham F1 are in a mess and need to sort themselves pronto and it ain’t any wonder Tony Fernandes gave up on things. He gave them long enough and he didn’t see what he wanted to see.

      1. I have to confess that my esteem for TF has been somewhat diminished by the ease and haste with which he scuttled Caterham as soon as Marussia scored their two points in Monaco (having first got the pay drivers in and frozen development spending, thereby all but assuring that Caterham would be at the back of the field).

        That’s how these successful tycoons operate, I suppose. (Richard Branson did the same with Virgin Racing, rather more quickly.)

        1. I gave TF a lot of credence in his initial dealings, he also had a air of golden boy, if having the right touch, about him, but his fall from the grace in my estimation (fwiw) is still to me a complicated mix.

          Playing hard on the budget cap disappointment struck me as both ex post facto justification, and smacked of a certain naivety.

          The brutal fact is I think he was enamored more of reviving a brand, than the real business of racing.

          He had, to my analysis, a strong hand to play to hold on to the Lotus naming rights, but faked the will to see the courts for what they are: often as not the scales of justice balance the weight of gold each team can place on their pan, and hope iustitia is wearing her blindfold.

          Brands are financially exciting, not least because they can be a source of intricate balance sheet engineering of benefit to a wider group.

          We can’t know the result of the court action concerning the Lotus name, but I assume money changed hands and it was all silenced for a good long while. I say, well played, to the venture capitalists, they knew their opponent the better.

          After that time, TF became increasingly scarce, and I think he was clearly disinterested. Some of his decisions were bizarre: why hire Joe to advise the motor car company? Was he hoping to influence coverage and provide a veil of a excuse? I think the team could have benefitted from a voice into the press, but not as a cheerleader, instead as a clear focus for practical criticism. But forget all if that, I genuinely think the entire affair hinged on attaining exclusive use of the Lotus brand, and that was the be all and end all. Of little import now, dallying in association football, sent no encouraging signals to me, alerted me to a kind of indifference to the race team. I simply had to wonder at the time whether Bernie and Flav weren’t having him for a mug.

          In all, I’m highly disappointed. You have to be more than a smart marketing man to make a difference in F1.

          Albers and Kolles need to make like FI, without the powertrain, and forget the world above them. All order, but I think it may be the right job, for Colin, I think his brand of operation could bring much needed cohesion under pressure.

          ~ . ~

          In the last weeks, I’ve had a kind of confusion about F1, and how it will fare in the future, great season, lousy management, stupid rules, and cash crises and all. I think I’ve pinpointed my sense of confusion finally: it’s that my short to medium term prognosis is truly bad. It’s not quite the Chiltern switcheroo/ standoff was a final straw, but despite the obvious logic, and despite there being many WTF moments in the past, concerning drivers and money, mid season, Tom Walkinshaw providing a improvident share of those, my WTF reaction came with a shrug, when it should not. The reason is connected to the court case. As much as I firmly agree that if Herr Biedrmeyer can pay his way out of a case, then so should a rich man be free to do so, I am jaundiced by the strain of murk and sleaze. Before now, I was halfheartedly objecting to myself, “but it’s not even “good” sleaze”, wine, women, the ill timed sneaky bifter or nose of Columbia’s finest marching powder, a sponsor blowing up and turning out to have been totally nefarious, heck even a driver getting into a punch up… all sports and most walks of life can forgive genuine stupidity, even brushes with criminality, provided the main players are not the perps. But F1 has come to dull my senses. Court cases that run years but are predictable from the start, and leave everyone dealing cheated, not least a certain man languishing in a Munich jail… the ringmaster dissing his own troupe … sudden uncommented exit or retirement of arguably the best racing manager in his prime… to be replaced with a Punch and Judy show at least part of which seems all too keen to insult the legacy of who built their winner… improbable excuses emanating from who speaks for a yet unbranded fast car… and distinct, if feint but it’s rising to audibility, squabbling down the grid over the only thing known in quality to make a car go faster..

          I deliberately didn’t edit that paragraph, because if you red it in a blur, or try to, that’s about how I feel a little dizzy, when absorbing, or trying to absorb the latest news.

          Why the doom and gloom?

          Because there is one true poison to advertisers and sponsors: lack of clarity.

          Ron ought to be told to put a big name on that car of his, regardless. Having a top team compete unmarked like that is a disastrous advertisement for the sport.

          Bernie choosing to say he’ll carry on for as long as he can… not unexpected, but does he not know his timing is actually damaging?

          The world does not, sadly, beat a path to read Joe and the very few others who have the care to write genuinely about what they love. After a fortnight of silly season regurgitation… heavens, all the low level, slow burn, creeping if not creepy smut that seems to have collected like dust in a plains town, is the very stuff such rags thrive on… no, you do not want to have fans going about excite to be back to the racing, no less at Spa, and their non fan friends who lastingly “keep up a bit” commenting on what a thick skin old showman Bernie is… for every reason I can think of, that’s a total downer. The only message he could send short of shutting up and doing some obvious work, which he’s barely incentivized to do any more, would be to say he intends to find a successor he thinks has the chops. Names proposed so far have been ridiculous.

          I am not dissuaded yet of the idea Bernie hopes to buy the show back, repaying himself by some public issuance somehow, and meanwhile he can’t help but run down the sport, that’s just his reflexive instinct.

          Seriously, I think every retired driver with a conscience, every last man, ought to stand up and be counted demanding radical management change. F1 is a cash cow. It can stand financial upheaval, if intelligently directed. There is upside plenty in exchange for risk. I say the risk has to be to go it alone broadcast wise. I believe that’s the only way. In the event we do not continue at next to zero interest rates, there has to be a assault on capturing the broadcast margin, and there’s now plenty data to say what can be supported. Just remember, at single digit rates, tiny increases in interest are big percentage hikes, a fact governments are deeply scared of, for themselves, and for the mortgaged populous. In the event we see real up rate markets, F1 has to be able to respond. That may mean paring down significantly. I think few if any of the things needed to be done, to survive, if increasing interests rates are imminent, are possible without radical overhaul of the structure. Starting now is starting late. Consider at minimum how early Germany tightened its belt. Planning for any complex system is always long range. I feel we’ve all been in wait and see mode for too long, distracted by the omnipresent and wearisome shenanigans surrounding us. As much as I respect many individuals within F11, I don’t see any with the ability to organize the sport for crisis. I believe the crisis is now, and the drama, though I hope not actual disaster, later, but soon enough. I see no room for maneuver, no agility to react, and no natural leader. Unless someone self selects themselves as savior, and believes they can both pull it off, and afford the losses, at least interim, any recent price placed on F1 has been much too high. In line with the balance sheet economics or engineering thereof, but not much else.

          For the first time, I find my gloomy weather outlook on a Spa weekend is not exciting me about the racing..

      2. One hopes and assumes that he cares more for the road car side. Mind you, the Renault/Alpine deal went south suspiciously quickly. Still, you know the man,so your comment is rather sad, considering how he arrived into F1 Enjoy Spa!

  7. This seems like desperate measures to me, but if it helps, who will blame them. Ericsson must bring considerable funding, as his performances have been quite weak all year. If they really want to overtake Marussia they need a considearble update on the car (perhaps Lotterer can help here, I hope so) and the best possible drivers to get the result on sunday. Kobayashi might be able to do it, Ericsson probably not. But if the team depends on his funding I guess Koba might be out for another driver if the team is not confident on his opportunities. But who is available that could do it?

    By the way Joe, I read somewhere that Lotterer competed in a Kolles team, is this a reason they went for him? I guess he must have some first hand experience of the kind of quality feedback he can give.

    1. “By the way Joe, I read somewhere that Lotterer competed in a Kolles team, is this a reason they went for him?”

      Kolles substituted Karthikeyan a few years back after the latter injured himself on the way to the toilet.

    2. Too bad about Kobayashi

      But, how about this: if they can sort the car out using Lotterer for a while and then replace him by striking some kind of deal with one of the top teams for one of the young fast things in their driver development programme?

      Then they would have a better car, money from Ericsson and a potentially fast driver.

      Remember that Ricciardo’s F1 debut was with HRT back in 2011.

  8. A surprising announcement from Leafield. They are desperate to improve results this season under the new regime and this is one way to improve their chances. You could argue that they have nothing to lose in giving Lotterer the seat for Spa. It’s not outrageous to suggest he may be bringing money to the team by paying for the drive; what would be wrong with that? Best of luck to them this weekend.

  9. Thanks for this update Joe. While the other F1 press were regurgitating the Caterham press release you have been the only one to elaborate on why Andre. Keep up the good work! David

  10. I think they need someone to give the proper feedback required to improve the car and they have done just that. I’d like to imagine Lotterer has a future with the team if makes the best of this opportunity. It appears to be a solution to suits both parties at the moment.

  11. Nothing against Lotterer (first I’ve heard of the guy, despite the Jaguar outing, so thank you for the reminder, Joe), but is there honestly no other driver out there who could give more current feedback to an F1 team than someone who last drove one 12 years ago?!

    Says an awfy lot about their lack of technical knowledge if so… 😦

    1. Hey Sheep! First time you’ve heard of a 3 time Le Mans Winner and Audi works driver???? Do you look at any motorsport outside of F1 ???? Makes me really frustrated when I hear people who regard F1 as all of motorsport…it isn’t, never has been, never will be…thank God!

      1. My spies within VW say that they were delighted that Andre Lotterer was in the car because they reckoned it gave Audi’s Le Mans victories more coverage than the events themselves…

        1. Both funny and sad at the same time, WEC deserves so much better.

          An update from Friday practice at Spa, Lotterer was a tenth faster than Ericsson in first session, in the second session Lotterer was a half-tenth behind Ericsson although Lotterer’s session was cut short due to electrical problem.

          Unless Lotterer can find an extra second or two over Ericsson, it would seem the car is being flogged as hard as possible and the problem isn’t with the drivers…perhaps proving what many may have suspected.

  12. @joe, didn’t he get back in the Audi and was off the pace of his team mate as they was driving it more whilst he was racing in the Nippon series?

    I cant prove he is paying for his drive, but why would they remove the more experienced driver who isn’t providing the funding?
    No proof but 1+1=2.

  13. I notice in the photo on the CF1 website, that his race suit has a “Hype Energy” logo. I guess this is replacing EQ8? But is that a one off sponsor for him to fund his drive, or have they secured some non TF related backing now?

  14. It seems totally illogical to me unless money is involved. Caterham say they need a driver with more experience to replace their most experienced driver. They then choose someone with no experience at all apart from a testing session twelve years ago. He also happens to have been raised in Belgium and the next race is in Belgium. Yep, nothing to do with money!

  15. Impressive though he is at Audi, is he considered the best driver available to an F1 team in terms of technical feedback? Slightly surprising given that it will be his first time in the car and his first time in an f1 car in 12 years.

  16. Ha!

    I saw the news elsewhere… and thought to myself, “Why is Andre Lotterer driving for Caterham instead of Kobayashi?”

    In response, I then brought up Joe’s blog… saw the title, and laughed…

  17. Anyone who has seen Lotterer drive must know he is special behind the wheel. Obviously, I cannot comment on his feedback but I hope he makes an impression this weekend, though how to judge from the outside in these circumstances is difficult to say. Kobayashi would have been a better yardstick in terms of raw pace but I guess even the least impressive of the current pay drivers has to have priority in Caterham’s situation. Added interest, how ever you look at it.

    Am I right in recollecting 2008 was the only season without a single driver change?

  18. Joe, I would love to read an in-depth article on the feedback drivers can give to engineering that influences not just set up but design. Being able to give detailed feedback obviously doesn’t mean a driver will be quick, otherwise Pedro Della Rossa would be a multiple world champ. It clearly seems that some drivers are better at this than others and in the case of Daniel Ricciardo it seems to have been a big factor in his securing of the second RB seat.

    1. I’m not an expert, but I would suggest that the engineering team are looking for subjective (rather than what they can see through the telemetry) commentary on how changes to the setup affect the driveability of the car.

      It seems that this year, the teams that have done well have focused not on outright power, but on making the power exploitable by the driver. For instance, progressive power delivery making it easier to manage the tyres and fuel.

  19. Then why not get rid of Ericsson? He’s been so much slower than Kamui. Decisions like this can cost teams in the long run. What if there is another race like Monaco where a point is up for grabs and you need a fast driver?

  20. I think we may have to wait for Joe’s autobiography to hear more of the background during Tony’s ownership of the team.

    As for this latest development, Andre appointment is a curious development.

    Joe – Do you think the team would have looked at other ex-F1 drivers as well?

  21. Hmmm, it may be the case that Kobayashi’s feedback isn’t all it could be, but equally I don’t see how much value a driver, no matter how experienced or technically gifted will deliver in one race weekend if he’s coming with zero experience of the car, only very vaguely relevant recent race experience and limited F1 mileage from over a decade ago. I like Lotterer and the idea of random drivers popping up from the left field like it’s 1993 or something, but I’m struggling to see how this will really pay off – unless either finance is involved, as suggested elsewhere, or this turns out to be a longer-term plan… in which case I guess that’s Kobayashi out of F1 for good, unfortunately.

  22. Do you have a gut feeling about whether this is really a one-off? The statements seem very vague.
    I will be in the ‘Kamui cheer stand’ at Suzuka and this could really kill the atmosphere…

  23. Joe

    Is it possible that Audi are involved, financially that is, with the rather secretive Swiss/Middle-East consortium that have bought Caterham?

    Martin

    1. Why Audi? Why not Toyota or TOMS or Petronas? All of whom Lotterer has deep ties to this year… After all, it’s Super Formula that he is missing, not the WEC.

      (No, I am not being serious, but Lotterer does have numerous “other” racing connections this year).

  24. Looking at the re-shuffel in total and the dismissal of Rossi I wonder what the future of Robin Frijns will be at Caterham, I can understand that they want an experianced driver to provide feedback but since it was a long time before he was last in a F1 car and has no point of reference I can only wonder wonder if that was actually the intention or if there are other agendas involved.

    I hope Robin gets a chance in F1 as he seems to be talented enough.

    Whats your opinion? Just a one off or more then meets the eye with this change

  25. Age old problem, they need a quality driver in the car to make the most of and try to get points, but good drivers need to be paid, they need money to come in so take lower quality drivers who bring money but can’t get the most out of the car…..Vicious circle springs to mind. Do they take a gamble and try to fund a quality driver in the hope it pushes them up the grid, attract sponsorship in time to recoup the investment or keep going round in the same ‘pay driver’ circle who can’t move the car forward. I’m sure if Alonso was in that car it would be more competitive. Joe, how much more do you think a top driver would extract from a Caterham or Marussia (or Sauber for that matter)

  26. I’m not sure it’s a good idea in my opinion, I don’t doubt the talent of Lotterer but how much feedback can he provide to give Caterham to help the car make a leap big enough to be competitive enough to score a point (more if they are to beat Marussia). He hasn’t driven an F1 car for a long, long time (and when they were very different to now), an experienced driver like Heidfeld may be able to improve things but they just need too much to get there.

    I honestly think their best hope is luck, there needs to be a crazy wet race with lots of retirements and a driver who is quick enough to get his car a couple places higher than it should be and can keep it on the road long to the end of the race. Kamui is that man and Spa is probably the best place for this sort of thing to happen.

  27. If technical feedback is what they want, I wonder why they didn’t get Pedro de la Rosa. It’s not like either Pedro or Andre will get in the points anyway, and Pedro’s feedback will probably be better since he’s driven lots of F1 cars before and is known for the technical aspect.

    1. I doubt very much that Ferrari would want teir employee Pedro DlaR to help Caterham develop their car to the detriment of Marussia Ferrari. in the constructors title?

      And I doubt he’d even want to drive it for free let alone pay to do so.

      1. He drove for that piece of junk car from the Spanish team that the same Colin Kolles used to manage… why would he turn down a much more organized team in Caterham. I can see him wishing to retain his Ferrari links, but it’s not like he gets to drive the Ferrari nowadays anyways.

  28. I’d be very surprised if Koboyashi’s feedback, as a current F1 driver with a couple of years experience cannot provide feedback better than someone who hasn’t driven a contemporary F1 car since 2002. Makes absolutely no sense other than a financial one. To coin Joe’s phrase, prove me wrong… 🙂

  29. I giggled when another internet publication said they were “baffled” as to why Kobayashi was being replaced.
    It will be interesting to see how fast he is. All those years of experience will shine, I hope.

  30. I think people are missing one crucial point – ok, so he hasn’t tested an F1 car for 12 years, but he has currrent Hybrid experience with Audi and WEC cars.. more than most F1 drivers have for sure!

    1. I said that earlier, but also said “but what of it.” The platforms are not similar enough to matter for a one off test. Sure, that experience would be important if he was to be a full-time development driver (well, when there was still testing). Even Joe disagrees, unless he meant no he didn’t miss it.

  31. If it was all just a matter of experience, why not sign Mark Weber? Take some Red Bull cash and then we could all start the “Porsche to enter F1” rumours….
    Or VW lol

  32. Joe,
    Thoughts on my prediction for next year,
    Sauber/Caterham Ferrari/Renault engine swap,
    Caterham name change to Fossa Tosser and based in Germany.

  33. Whats with the big Gran Prix plus logos on the Caterham rear wing, just noticed them in quali. How long have you been sponsoring Caterham.

  34. Joe, I noticed your Grand Prix publication being advertised on the rear wing endplates of the Caterham this wkd. Was it a one off deal or something more? I hope you generated new interest as a result of the advertising!

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