CATERHAM F1 TEAM
Based at the Leafield Technical Centre in Oxfordshire, Caterham F1 Team began life in September 2009 when shareholders Tony Fernandes, Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin were granted entry into the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Just six months later, the team had two cars classified in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, a platform which served to propel the team, then on track under the guise of Lotus Racing, to the position of fastest new team in F1.
2011 saw the squad race as Team Lotus and, for the first time, benefit from the supply of Renault engines en route to successfully achieving its goal of winning tenth place in the championship and closing the gap to the established midfield teams ahead. In 2012, having been rebranded as Caterham F1 Team, the outfit was able to consolidate its position of tenth in the championship.
2013 sees Charles join the team headed up by new Team Principal and fellow Frenchman Cyril Abiteboul. The link between Caterham and Renault now also runs deeper than their engine agreement with both parties announcing a partnership in November 2012 to design and build sports vehicles together.
RENAULT SPORT F1
The French manufacturer is one of the most successful engine suppliers in the history of the Formula 1 World Championship having provided the power for eleven Constructors’ and ten Drivers’ crowns since its debut in 1977. As a constructor it won both titles back-to-back in 2005 and ’06, while its current V8 engine – the RS27 – has helped propel Red Bull Racing to a hat-trick of double championships since 2010. Last season Renault engines helped no less than three different teams win a total of nine races.
2013 will be the last season for Renault’s ultra-successful 2.4-litre V8 RS27 before significant rule changes herald a switch to 1.6-litre V6 turbo units. But if history is anything to go by then it’s a change that will suit Renault just fine, for the manufacturer was a pioneer of turbocharging in Formula 1. Its non-naturally aspirated engines were the first to score points, a pole position, podium and a victory, achievements that initiated a new era of engine technology in the sport.