Fernandes: Caterham's midfield hopes not dead yet

By on Thursday, March 22, 2012

© Caterham F1

Caterham's hopes of pushing into the midfield in 2012 are not dead yet.

That is the claim of team owner and boss Tony Fernandes, despite the former Team Lotus looking to have once again emulated the pecking-order of the past two years by outpacing only Marussia and HRT in Australia.

"We have obviously improved our pace relative to our 2011 speed," the Malaysian businessman said.

"But the teams ahead have also improved, so even though we are closer than this time last year we still have work to do to bridge the gap in qualifying," he added.

Fernandes insists, however, that the race pace shown by Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov in Melbourne last weekend was "on a par" with some other teams.

Former F1 driver and Finnish commentator Mika Salo, however, is not impressed.

"The Caterham car is neither fast nor reliable," he told MTV3.

Both Caterhams retired from the Australian Grand Prix this past weekend. Heikki Kovalainen's CT01 lasted only 41 laps before retiring with suspension problems while Vitaly Petrov retired after 36 laps with steering problems.

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