Thursday, 23 October 2014

Follow the money trail

I am an engineer, a mechanical engineer which means I know how engines and aero work. The flow of life giving air over the sculpted flanks of a carbon fibre body before it is sucked into the heart of the beast. To spin the exquisitely designed and detailed turbo and thrust this symphony power and violence down a strip of tarmac as fast as possible.
Human minds design these things. People who were  bullied at school for being "smart", who sat in French lessons and drew pictures of cars with wings and big fat sticky tyres.
People who know stuff okay, honest to goodness people who identify problems and fix them.
Right now the honest to goodness people of Caterham are locked out of their work place. Not entirely sure of what tomorrow will bring.
Far away, suits argue about who said what and desperately try to cover their fat backsides from recrimination. Things will rumble on for six months or so, eventually they'll all walk away from this a little bloodied maybe a few million poorer, but essentially OK. Whilst the boys and girls back home who turned the suits and their accountants impossible demands and unintelligible spreadsheets into something approaching reality try to pick up their lives.
Okay it was ever thus, but back the day it was a half a dozen lads who could walk up the pit lane and start spannering for the next wannabe playboy. There are around 200 people at Caterham who face the very real prospect of redundancy in the next few days.
The administrator has said they will release the cars for the American GP next weekend if the creditors are paid in a timely fashion. At this point in time no one thinks that's going to happen. And where will Bernie be during all of this you may wonder? I can't imagine he's on the phone to Switzerland or Fernandez demanding the staff are properly looked after. Its a dog eat dog world out there after all, there has to be a natural culling of the deadwood.
So when it all finally comes crashing down and the media has picked over the rotting carcass, just remember that there are people like you and me involved here, not just fantastically rich men with airlines and palaces in Saudi Arabia.

1 comment:

  1. An alternative viewpoint might be that had the engineers at Caterham produced a car that did slightly more than tool around at the back of the grid and/or retire they might not be in the state they are in now. It is, as you say, a dog-eat-dog world in F1 and these guys haven't done their jobs well enough.

    It's the tea ladies and HR managers I feel sorry for.