Pre season testing is concluded, the new season is about to start and the signs are that the Caterham team has closed the gap to the midfield runners down to around half a second per lap; potentially close enough to race them.
And Caterham F1 team boss Tony Fernandes believes that the team is ready to kick on in other ways, including the way it presents itself.
Speaking in the team’s e-zine Caterham Notes he said that he sees his team having a “good and strong” 2012. Fernandes was born in the Chinese year of the Dragon, and with this year matching his birth year he will hope that Chinese tradition prevails. However, the Team Principal also stands by his own philosophy – make your own success.
Caterham have come out of the Winter break raring to go and having been the first team to unveil their new car they gained a lot of attention and proved that they are keen to get on with the season ahead. There has also been a driver change, bringing Vitaly Petrov into the team at the expense of Jarno Trulli. These changes, alongside those made last season regarding top engineers Mark Smith and John Iley shows that Caterham F1 are looking to make their own success. “We are stabilising and expanding the core team and it is obvious that we are attracting top names to the team. We have proved that we are here to stay and to move up the grid,” said Fernandes.
With a strong back-room in place, Fernandes is focusing his expertise on marketing and team management. “I can never hope to influence the design process – I’m not going to even try!…But in terms of marketing the team and the way we use communications to express ourselves and include fans, I think we have been quite different.” He added.
The role of Team Principal differs between teams; for Ross Brawn it is very much technical and engineering based and for Franz Tost and Christian Horner, both former racing drivers, their knowledge stretches from knowing how to manage a driver through to assisting engineers. Fernandes, on the other hand, enjoys the prospect of turning a challenge in to a triumph and although Caterham has a way to go before they can be deemed as a successful team, they seem to be making the necessary changes to reach their goals. “That’s what I do, I take failing businesses, or projects with a significant challenge, and turn them around – that’s the drive for me,” finished Fernandes.