Poll The rear of the year

Who will finish higher, Caterham or Marussia

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Way down at the back of the grid there is an interesting battle shaping up between the two surviving members of the "new three" club. As always, the battle for the coveted 10th placed finish in the constructors is worth mega bucks to the team who takes it and last season saw Caterham just about manage to take the prize at the final race of the season. It was clear though that as the second half of 2012 wore on, Marussia has really started to catch up with the development of the Caterham and in some races actually show they could be a little bit faster.

Moving into this season and the dynamics of the battle have been changed by the decision of Caterham to part company with a driver who has given more than solid service to the team, Heikki Kovalainen, and the somewhat surprise decision by Marussia to drop the services of the hugely experienced Timo Glock.

In terms of drivers, only Caterhams Charles Pic has experienced a full season in F1 and actually raced the car. His best finish for Marussia coming with 12th place at the final race of the 2012 season in Brazil. The other three drivers have had some limited third driver and testing work but have yet to see the start of an F1 race in anger.

In terms of their performance outside of F1, only Van Der Garde has a series championship under his belt, winning the 2008 Formula Renault 3.5 series for P1 Motorsport. More recently Luiz Razia finished 2nd in the 2012 GP2 championship for Arden and took 4 wins and 5 other podium finishes in the process. Razia's new team mate, Maz Chilton is the least experienced of the four drivers and is fresh from an inconsistent GP2 season where he took 2 wins and a Podium in the feature races and 1 podium in the sprints. Charles Pic has taken wins in Formula Renault and GP2 but has finished no higher than 3rd in any series. As we've already said though, he is the only one of the four with regular F1 experience.

In terms of the cars, the beebs very own Gary Anderson has already noted that both teams have made a step forward in terms of aerodynamic packaging but more importantly there are many areas with which they are now on equal terms. For the first time both teams will be running with KERS and DRS which should make a huge difference to their weekend times.

As we have already seen in testing, the Marussia and Caterham aren't setting the world on fire but more importantly, the Marussia has finished the day ahead of the Caterham on more than one occasion. We as yet, can't prove anything from these times and it will be even more interesting to see how they run at the final test but there are the clearest signs yet that Caterham has got a real challenge on its hands.

Behind the scenes, obviously Caterham would appear to have the better engine, transmission and KERs package, running as they do, with the RBR units coupled to the quick and usually reliable Renault engine. Marussia on the other hand, are using the slightly less powerful Cosworth unit with the Williams KERS. This however, doesn't tell the full story because Marussia have Pat Symonds now fully integrated within the team after his long spell on the naughty step and a long term technical partnership with McLaren to use their wind tunnel facilities.

So, who do you think will take that all important 10th place at the end of the season and will either team or perhaps both finally make the jump up that would see them take home a point or two?
I would like Marussia to win the battle, they look more serious, but unlike Caterham are a bit behind on several levels.

Still inexperienced with wind tunnels, KERS, they have the Cosworth engine, the worst engine of the lot.

But they do look promising as they were close to Caterham without KERS last season.

I think Charles Pic;'s experience may pull Caterham ahead, Razia looks the best out of the new bad bunch.
Van Der Garde may have won a series in 2008 but he seems to have gone backwards since and was beat by Pic in GP2 in 2011 and Chilton and Razia in 2012. Razia was South American F3 champion but has been bitty ever since but did look like he had potential at points last season. Chilton is anyones guess and Pic seems to be highly rated in some corners(see his thread for what I just wrote about Renault). I think all of them could beat the other 3 on a good day so I actually think it'll be more down to the cars.

Although you state that Caterham have the more reliable kers with the Red Bull package I think I'd rather have the Williams one like Marussia after the amount of failures Red Bull had last year.

Marussia have Pat Symonds and feel like a team on the way up. Caterham feel like they are more worried about survival than progress. You only have to look at the drivers they have testing their GP2 cars to see they are looking for cash.
The Marussia is basic but tidy, a solid base car that could easily improve by two seconds. The Caterham on the other hand looks like a box and it seems there are extra frills on the wing and exhaust that serve no real purpose.

The lack of proven talent in both cars makes it quite difficult to call for me.
Saw a "rear of the year" poll and was ready to vote Kardashian. Sadly not an option so I guess I chose Caterham with no real reasoning whatsoever. I wasn't exactly focused when making that decision.
Am I the only one who's thinking "who cares"?

Caterham have promised a lot (multiple times) and delivered nothing - they were lucky in Brazil and if not for that would have finished behind Marussia.

Marussia are, well, just making up the numbers.

Neither team shows any signs of getting anywhere near the back of the midfield.
Oh you old cynic Brogan

*puts on black polo neck and starts to smoke a pipe* I think if the history shows us anything its that technological advancement is always acheived faster when in competition. War always brings the next stage. So if these two are actually competing in close quarters then its only going to be good for them and the sport. Look at their results in Brazil. Lets incourage the rivalry. Come on lets try and care!

Oh and soccerman17 aren't the Kardashians those big blokes with bumpy faces off Star Trek? Have they got nice rears?
Marussia were unlucky not to get 10th place last season and I reckon they'll be ahead of Caterham but still a way behind the likes of Toro Rosso and the midfield
And there I was thinking it was a fashion contest for which 2013 spec car has the best rear end...

I would like to see both teams take a point or two this year...

I would also like to point out that the points scoring system should be revised this year to a top 8 rather than a top 10... wont be long before you get a point for DNF'ing first... scoring points in F1 is supposed to be hard... not a simple matter of turning up (don't :spank: me for the 'slightly' off topic)...
The thing that hampers both teams with regards to scoring is that with the cars now so reliable it is near impossible for a team like Marussia or Caterham to pick up one of those lucky points like they would have done 20 years ago.

Take the 1988 Detroit Grand Prix where Minardi scored their first point for example, only 9 cars out of the 26 were classified with only 1st and 2nd on the same lap, then 3rd to 6th a lap behind and 7th and 8th two laps down.

If you look at last years USA GP by comparison, 22 out of the 24 finished the race with the cars from 1st to 13th on the lead lap. There are some races now where every single car finishes. The days of grabbing a lucky point are long gone.

And to add to that, Pierluigi Martini who was driving the Minardi in detroit qualified 16th, 4.443 seconds off pole while in Timo Glock for example qualified in 19th, 4.502 seconds behind pole which just shows that the gap from front to back then as now is broadly similar but in those days you had a better chance of picking up the odd point here and there.
I think Marussia and Caterham have an interesting decision to make after the Spanish GP (fifth race of the season), or thereabouts. Most likely I think both of them will still be a long way off the back of the midfield at that point and 2014 must be the best (last?) opportunity they have to propel themselves in to the midfield. So do they revert all their, albeit limited, resources to 2014 at a very early stage of the season or do they go all out for 10th place? Considering how much both teams still have to learn and the limited testing perhaps they would even gain more by bolting new bits on to the 2013 car then they would by developing the 2014 car 'in the dark'.

I'm not sure what the answer to that question is and it could decide who comes out on top between the two of them because otherwise I think it will be pretty close. From what I've read it sounds like Caterham have built a more developed car but one that has little room for manoeuver to develop whereas Marussia have a blank slate that they should be able to make strides forward with. On that basis maybe you'd expect Caterham to start ahead but Marussia to be on top by the end of the season but it's very hard to call.
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