Originally Posted by wxwax
Tony Fernandes says that if Caterham show no progress then this will be his last season in F1.
On the one hand, does anyone care about a perennial backmarker? On the other hand, Fernandes makes valid points about F1's lack of competitiveness.
Arguable points, yes. Valid? I'm not convinced.
There are two ways of looking at the parallel Fernandez draws with football (well, soccer from over here
The first sees it long-term. Fernandez says:
"... the racing stays the same, with the same three or four teams there winning. There is no underdog who comes in."
And yet ... who is doing most of the winning? Red Bull. A team built from perennial disappointers Jaguar. Classic case of underdog rising to overdog.
The main reason that can be missed is that people who buy F1 teams tend to rename them. People who buy footy teams don't.
Other examples are available. Possibly the most salient:
- in 2008, Honda finished ninth, scoring points in only three races. In 2009, the renamed team won eight races and the driver and constructor championships, with the same driver line-up.
So on the long-term view, some F1 underdogs do have their days.
The other way to look at Fernandez's argument is over the short term. In footy, he says, you never know when you might get an upset:
"In football, what's great is a Yeovil going into a cup game and beating a Manchester United. That can happen in football."
Yes, it happens in football. But not very often.
And it also happens in F1. Toro Rosso's victory with Sebastian Vettel at Monza in 2008 springs immediately to mind.
Of course, Vettel's victory would have had even more resonance if Mateschitz hadn't changed the team's name when he bought perennial wooden-spooners Minardi.
So, I'm not so sure Fernandez has made the right points. Just possibly, his team has a problem and F1's problems lie elsewhere.