Caterham boss Fernandes hails lucky 13 at Monaco

Tony Fernandes (MAL) Caterham Team Principal. Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday 24 March 2012.May 29 (GMM) Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix was potentially a lucrative result for the Caterham team, which has gone a long way to making team boss Tony Fernandes a very happy man.

With actual points still a case of wishfull thinking for the three backmarker teams, Caterham, Marussia and HRT are instead in a competitition within a competition for the highest classified finish.

Until Monaco, it was Marussia leading the non-points race, thanks to the fourteenth place recorded by Timo Glock in Australia.

The German driver did it again in Monaco, but it was Caterham who burst back with a significant tenth place in the world championship thanks to Heikki Kovalainen’s thirteenth-place finish.

At the end of the season, tenth place is the cut-off for ‘column 1′ teams under the Concorde Agreement, an achievement that last year was reportedly worth almost $30 million to Caterham.

“It’s significant. It’s critical,” said Fernandes.

Not only that, Kovalainen did it in style in Monaco, holding Melbourne winner Jenson Button at bay until the Melbourne winner’s battle ended with a crash.

“Simply great. It was the best feeling I’ve had in these three years in Formula One,” Fernandes told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.

In contrast, Button was unimpressed, joking that he was relieved when he crashed because the “pain” of battling a defiant backmarker was over.

“There has to be a balance when you’re fighting for twelfth place and I don’t think he had it right, but there you go, that’s racing,” he said.

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