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Millions for 10th-placed Lotus

2011-11-28 09:29

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Finishing 10th overall in the Formula 1 World championship should boost Caterham's budget by the equivalent of about R233-million in 2012, according to team owner Tony Fernandes.

Team Lotus, to be renamed Caterham F1 for 2012, was again the best of the sport's three 'new' teams in the 2011 season-ending Brazilian GP and secured the 10th slot for the second consecutive year.

'JUMPING LIKE LUNATICS'

Under the rules of the confidential Concorde Agreement governing the sport, that achievement will lift Caterham to 'Column One' status and a hugely increased payday when the revenues are divided up.

Fernandes said: "It's critical. We've gone from earning less than R66-million to R299-million, something in that region. It's significant. It's taken two years of hard work, that was our target and now we have something solid to build on.

"You've got to finish 10th for two years in a row to be a Column One team and that's what we've achieved. That's why we were jumping around like lunatics and all the Brazilians were confused as to why we were celebrating 10th."

The biggest danger for Team Lotus at Interleago was rain that might have allowed HRT or Virgin to score a point and leapfrog ahead in the table.

Since they entered Formula 1 in 2010, none of the three teams has scored a point and the standings are decided by highest-placed finishes.

Team Lotus had three 13th places to HRT's one while Virgin's highest finish was 14th.

"I think when Heikki (Kovalainen) lapped (Virgin's Jerome) D'Ambrosio for the second time, that kind of made me feel that we'd arrived," Fernandes grinned.

Reuters