Abu Dhabi

Last Race: 23rd Nov Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi GP Results
Pos Driver
1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Felipe Massa
3 Valtteri Bottas

'Non-paying drivers irresponsible'

2013-12-13 07:34:00

 RSS

Share:

'Non-paying drivers irresponsible'

Cyril Abiteboul, the Caterham boss, believes drivers who refuse to bring sponsorships with them to Formula One are "irresponsible"...

Cyril Abiteboul, the Caterham boss, believes drivers who refuse to bring sponsorships with them to Formula One are "almost irresponsible."


Although Abiteboul doesn't believe that only so-called "pay-drivers" should compete in the sport, he stressed that all drivers have a responsibility to help their team's financial well-being.

"For me drivers are just an extra assistance to see those commercial opportunities that can be generated either by them or us," Abiteboul said during an interview with Autosport.

"It is not that you have paying drivers or non paying drivers.

"Some drivers have made it very public - and it annoys us - that they will not make any form of contribution, which honestly I do not like because everyone is making a contribution.

"For instance Fernando [Alonso] and some of the sponsors who have been believing in him and following him since the start of his career.

"Almost all the drivers have a feeling that there must be some form of contribution that they make beyond their sporting duties.

"That is why drivers saying 'I am not a paying driver, I don't want to be one of those', is almost irresponsible because we are investing massive money to create value around those people and around those drivers.

"So for me it is only fair that drivers do make a contribution, not [necessarily] a financial contribution, but at least assist and create opportunities for the teams to generate value.

"It is a bit more complex than people tend to sometimes summarise. Yes, we will be expecting that the drivers help, but not necessarily by bringing money."

Team Lotus, as Caterham was known when they entered F1 in 2010, paid salaries to then-drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, who had both won races earlier in their career, but their 2013 drivers Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic both had outside sponsors.

Atiboul added that the Surrey outfit's future in F1 is uncertain after losing 10th place in the Constructors' Championship to Marussia, but maintains that its sponsorship prospects would keep the team afloat.

"We have a season that is going to be more expensive, we have prize money that is going down, we have expectations to move up the grid," he continued.

"There is still a lot of interest for what we are, as a project.

"The Caterham project is something that is extremely attractive and actually I am very positively surprised by the interest that is generated and the belief that people continue to have in us, even after four years.

"That is why it is important to deliver. With just a little bit more performance, we will have fantastic commercial opportunities."

Wet Race Day At Suzuka

Editor's Picks

10 Reasons For Three-Car Teams

10 Reasons For Three-Car Teams

What's not to like about three-car teams? Bernie's suggestion has been dismissed by the purists, but it would tighten up the racing...

Winners & Losers: Singapore

Winners & Losers: Singapore

Lewis may have beaten Nico by 33 centimetres on Saturday, but on Sunday he finished 47 laps down the road...

Getting To Know Marchionne

Getting To Know Marchionne

Ferrari fans needn't be worried about Sergio Marchionne - he comes with a pedigree of turning round businesses...

Highlights Of Luca's Tenure

Highlights Of Luca's Tenure

Luca di Montezemolo is Ferrari through and through, from spending time as Enzo Ferrari's assistant to assuming control in 1991...

Tin Foil Hats At The Ready

Tin Foil Hats At The Ready

Twice this season Lewis Hamilton has accused Nico Rosberg of deliberately making a mistake. Was Monza number three?