Fernandes upbeat about future with Caterham drivers

Tony Fernandes (MAL) Caterham Team Principal. Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday 21 September 2012.Sep.23 (GMM) Caterham issued a press release on Saturday, which might not sound like ground-breaking news, but given that the team had actually stopped keeping the world’s media up-to-date about its progress on track at recent races, is significant.

Boss Tony Fernandes confirmed: “Truthfully, we did not believe our performance was giving us anything worth reporting.”

But in Singapore, the Malaysian entrepreneur finally gave the team’s PR department some work to do, after Russian Vitaly Petrov qualified 19th.

Fernandes said it gave him hope “we are back on the path to the promised land of the midfield”.

It will also give Petrov something to smile about, amid speculation that his Russian sponsors have grown tired of Formula One.

“I think Vitaly’s performance [in Singapore] might just be the making of him as a Caterham driver,” said Fernandes.

On the other side of the garage, Heikki Kovalainen has had more of a struggle under the floodlights.

Fernandes thinks that all the speculation about the Finn’s future – including rumoured links to Sauber or even Ferrari, and a row between his manager and Fernandes – may have got to him.

“It is quite possible that what has been going on over the last couple of days has not helped him on track but I am pleased to say that discussions are going very well and we are aiming to make positive statements about that in the next few weeks,” Fernandez said.

Subbed by AJN.