We’ve just got back from the Russian Grand Prix, what did you think of it?
Manfredi Ravetto: Sochi was definitely the place to be: we enjoyed racing there and contributing to bring F1 to Russia; the event was fantastic, the atmosphere was breathtaking and the circuit is at the highest of standards.
Where does Caterham F1 Team stand today?
MR: Knowing that this team, under previous ownership, was due to stop racing before the British Grand Prix, we – the new management – are proud of having completed not only the European season but also the Asian season! This gives us confidence to approach the last three fly-away races in America and the Middle-East with an extra-boost: our performance is steadily improving and recent results plus our great qualifying performance in Sochi are putting us on a level the team has hardly shown previously.
We are on a high and we keep fighting day after day, even if there are a few negative comments or skepticism from some people who would be happy to see us failing: we can live with this, we have no problem at all; what we do is answer with facts, starting with the technical improvement of the car and stabilizing of the team’s financial side – but we just want to remind everybody that we are those brave ones who try to firefight; we are not the ones who left the team in a critical status! I can tolerate misinterpretations on everything except this. And, by the way, we historically seem to be quite successful in contradicting the rumour mill…
There seems to be a need to clarify the reason of Kamui’s retirement in Sochi…
MR: Actually, I was very surprised to hear Kamui referring to some mileage-saving instruction coming from the team’s management: we saw via telemetry that there was a potential issue with the brakes and we decided to avoid any risks; Kamui officially confirmed this as well and I’d like to add that he had also asked us to change the previous set before qualifying because he felt some vibration. To be clear: yes, we instructed Kamui to retire because the safety of our drivers is our first concern! Regarding Kamui’s comment, all I can say – and again, I’m answering with facts – is that the team has continuously made progress since the British Grand Prix, we’ve managed to qualify very well in the last two races, getting very close to Q2, and in Suzuka we repaired Kamui’s heavily damaged car in time for the next session without any problems, so I cannot understand his comment.
What’s the team’s position with regards to engine-freeze?
MR: We will answer when asked by the FIA.
What can we expect from the final three races of the season?
MR: We know there are still some bumpy roads ahead and we don’t expect an easy ride, but we will deal with each situation as it arrives. For avoidance of any doubt, I’d also like to add that Leafield remains the team’s base, even though it’s no secret that we are looking for a more suitable alternative. We look forward to the final three races of the season; we will keep fighting, we will keep improving and we will introduce some positive surprises: stay tuned!