Most stories start at the beginning; this one is a little different. Before I talk about Caterham, I need to talk a little about…
His was a remarkable career the first time around. A record seven world championship titles, 91 Grand Prix victories and 68 pole positions. Michael Schumacher may have had a little assistance along the way from team mates, team principals and a few unwilling adversaries, but remove the controversies and there still stands a man who justifiably has become a legend of the sport.
Writing the epitaph of a once great brand is never an easy thing to do, but yesterday I learned of the departure of Sales and Marketing Director Andy Noble from Caterham Cars – joining the company’s former bosses Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards and leaving just one member of the original management team, after Air Asia boss Tony Fernandes acquired the business last December.
Well it wasn’t quite the way it had been scripted but nevertheless, Rob Huff, wrote himself into motorsport history yesterday morning by clinching the World Touring Car Championship crown on a debris-strewn Macau circuit.
As a nation, we’re often accused of living on our past; of dwelling in a legacy of empire. Yet if there’s one thing that centuries of plunder and reckless adventure has taught us, it’s how to put on a show! And every summer, that’s precisely what we do.
Scuderia Ferrari has already made the headlines at today’s Indian GP; not because of the titanic battle between Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel and the Italian team’s matador, Fernando Alonso – but instead for carrying the Italian Navy’s emblem on both of its cars during this weekend’s Grand Prix.
The small Yorkshire town of Garforth is a fairly unremarkable place. Once a thriving mining community, its proximity to the northern arterial network has long-since seen it merge into yet another commuter suburb of Leeds’ sprawling metropolis.
For a nation endowed with the DNA of such maverick automotive legends as Chapman, Cooper and Brown, it seems ironic that the marque which now leads the plethora of niche British sports car manufacturers is one that was only founded in the latter part of the 20th century.
There’s no doubting that thanks to some exceptional individual and team performances at the 2012 Olympics, Cool Britannia is now very much back in vogue. Whether you’re lucky enough to have seen the action live, or have been watching at home, in a bar or at work, the sight of 000’s of Union Jacks waving in fervent admiration can only reinforce the feelings of pride and passion that resonate across this small island nation.
Anybody following the ongoing story of the cataclysm wrenching at the relationships between Group Lotus, its adoptive parent Proton, and Lotus F1 Team will be used to reading opinions so wide and varied that even the most extreme soap-opera storyline might seem tame in comparison.
With Caterham F1 due to launch their 2012 car in less than 48 hours, Kimi Raikkonen out on track in the 2011 Lotus Renault…
It is three years since I first visited Westfield’s Kingswinford factory; a trip that made such an impression that it would ultimately lead to me working there. Yet just over 12 months later, my faith was lost and exit swift.