Sunday, July 27, 2014

1 Racing Mind 2014 Formula 1 Mid-Season Report: Caterham F1 Team

2014 Hungarian GP - Saturday 26th July
Photo Credit: Caterham F1 Team

Caterham F1 Team

Team Score: C-

Kamui Kobayashi: C-
Marcus Ericsson: C

While the Marussia F1 Team relieved themselves of the tyranny of being a non-point scoring organization earlier this year, Caterham is now the only Formula 1 team to enter the second-half of the 2014 season without a career top-10 finish. Based on the Caterham F1 Team's performance in past seasons, it served as a mild shock when Marussia scored points first. Running customer Renault engines since 2011, Caterham has continued to come close to scoring a top-10 spot in a grand prix. In July, headlines around Caterham reflected a change in ownership. Tony Fernandes  (the team's original owner who founded the organization as Lotus Racing) has now detached himself from Caterham. Along with Fernandes' partners, the team was sold to a Swiss/Middle East group. Following completion of the team's sale, a number of positions were shuffled. Prior to the German Grand Prix, Christijan Albers was named Team Prinicipal. 

On-track, 2014 drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson come from different situations but have faced similar results in competition. Both team cars have suffered three or more retirements after 10 races. Ericsson does boast the team's best result for 2014 with an 11th place at Monaco.

Ingredients for Second-Half of 2014: The Caterham F1 Team is still knocking on the door of a top-10 spot. The best chance at scoring points appears to be luck heading into the final nine races of 2014. It's unsure what effect the management changes will have to the remainder of this season. History tends to say that little will change in regards of performance for at least the immediate future.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

1 Racing Mind 2014 Formula 1 Mid-Season Report: Sauber

Photo Credit: Sauber Motorsport AG


Team Score: D

Esteban Gutierrez : D+

Adrian Sutil: C-

In past years, Sauber has made the most of being an underdog team. In 2014, the team is floundering during race events. Buried at the lower half of the Formula 1 grid, Sauber is one of two teams lacking constructors' points. Ten team retirements of race vehicles has contributed to miserable season for the Ferrari-powered Sauber. While the Ferrari power unit has been the result of a few retirements, several collisions have also led to the Sauber's finishing low on the grid at the end of grand prix race weekends.
Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez is engaged in his second season with the Sauber operation. The 2010 GP3 Series champion has qualified decently but has not been able to mount quality race finishes largely due to five DNFs. After several respectable seasons with Force India, Adrian Sutil joined Sauber in 2014 apperently expecting he can perform like Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg did with the team in previous years. Just missing out on a championship point in his first race, Sutil is endured a non-point scoring season almost identical to Gutierrez.
Ingredients for Second-Half of 2014: When you're a non-scoring team in Formula 1, the problems appear simple but any fix can prove exceptionally difficult. The 2014 Formula 1 season has been a tough struggle for Ferrari-engined race machines. The only way to improve the performance of the Sauber team will depend largely on bettering reliability and finding more speed.

1 Racing Mind 2014 Formula 1 Mid-Season Report: Marussia F1 Team

Photo Credit: Andrew Hone Photographer/ Pirelli Photo Service

Marussia F1 Team

Team Score: C

Jules Bianchi: B-
Max Chilton: C

One of two teams still operating since Formula 1 attempted to pave the way new, lower cost entrants into the sport, Marussia ended last season in need of a new powerplant. Making a deal to run Ferrari engines, the race team remained at the lower part of the starting grid but began showing improved race pace than in previous seasons. Cracking into the top-10 at Monaco with a ninth place finish, there is high hopes that the feat will be repeated.
Retaining their 2013 driver roster, Marussia F1 Team has enjoyed some meager success with Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton. Bianchi has clearly become the star of the team by driving his Marussia-Ferrari to the points-scoring position in Monaco. However, despite the majot triumph, Jules Bianchi is also one of the most penalized 2014 Formula 1 racer after 10 events. Still looking for his first career Formula 1 championship point, sophomore driver Max Chilton has been recorded running in all-but one grand prix event. In most 2014 races, Chilton actually finished ahead of Bianchi.
Ingredients for Second-Half of 2014: Since claiming the ninth place finish at the Monaco Grand Prix, Marussia has fallen back into their position near the bottom of the grid. Qualifying also continues to be a struggle for the team. Now that Marussia has captured Formula 1 race points, they need to realize it is no longer acceptable to simply beat their long-running rival Caterham. It may be time for Marussia set itself up to regularly compete against Toro Rosso and Force India.