Caterham to run Rodolfo Gonzalez at Mugello

2012 F1 testing

Rodolfo GonzalezRodolfo Gonzalez will drive for Caterham in the three-day test at Mugello next week, the team has confirmed.

Gonzalez, who races for Caterham’s GP2 team, previously tested for the team in 2010 and 2011 when it was known at Lotus.

The Venezuelan driver will drive the CT01 on the first day of the test.

Regular race drivers Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen will take over on the following days.

“I am very excited about getting back into an F1 car at the Mugello test, and want to thank Caterham F1 Team for this opportunity,” said Gonzalez.

“It will be my third time in an F1 car with this team and it will be another good chance for me to further my experience at the top level of global motorsport.”

Gonzalez has raced in GP2 since 2009 and has scored a total of four points.

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25 comments on Caterham to run Rodolfo Gonzalez at Mugello

  1. OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 24th April 2012, 16:46

    Gonzalez has raced in GP2 since 2009 and has scored a total of four points.

    Interesting decision.

    • James Hosford (@hosford90) said on 24th April 2012, 16:57

      Hehe yes that is such a good line. Brilliant writing Keith, to stay so professional and report the news yet find a way to get that dig in without wavering from your job as an unbiased reporter. :P

      Gonzalez is famous in GP2 as a joke, matched for embarrasingness by only Teixeira (and this year I guess Serenelli as-well). He brings more of that Venezuelan money flying everywhere like Pastor has.

      Having said that he did show some half-decent race pace and made some solid and for once not-kamikaze moves in Bahrain, especially in the Sprint Race.

    • Perhaps he comes with sponsorship. It would explain why he’s a part of it at all, given that he’s not their official test or reserve driver or even in their driver development program.

  2. Thomas (@infi24r) said on 24th April 2012, 17:06

    I find it curious that when the drivers best ever finish in GP2 is 21 st in the championship after 4 years of competing that he would be able to step into a Formula 1 car.

  3. davros said on 24th April 2012, 17:20

    I don’t know, if I was a racing driver with his record I think I’d find it rather depressing.

  4. Judging from what I have seen in gp2 this season, they’d be better off letting Giedo Van Der Garde have a shot

  5. d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 24th April 2012, 17:48

    Both caterham drivers in GP2 are rubbish, maybe if they gave their 2011 driver line up a test :)

  6. Aditya (@) said on 24th April 2012, 18:31

    Anyway… he’s going to be 26 in May. Money in the bank or not, he is too old.

    • I don’t believe you can be “too old”, Fangio won 5 world championships in his 40’s

      • Well 26 is not very old but comparing him to Fangio is kind of misleading. In an era where cars hit 5g and the slightest delayed reaction costs a lot of time it boils down to reflexes. It is not about being fit or not, as we see Micheal is more than fit but I reckon that the reason Nico is beating Micheal is down to reflexes. At least this is my theory as I have not seen races from the era.

        • Yes, but my point was age doesn’t necessarily matter, Button is in his 30’s and still able to win

          • Aditya (@) said on 26th April 2012, 16:40

            I meant he is too old to make a debut. He needs to be lightning quick and competitive from the word go or else he’ll have spent his prime years in the back end… considering he does get a drive, that is.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th April 2012, 4:43

      Kovalainen was 25/26 in his rookie season, Bruno Senna was 26/27 in his rookie season.

  7. mantolwen (@mantolwen) said on 24th April 2012, 19:39

    Considering Caterham have Alex Rossi and Giedo van der Garde to call upon, this is the most questionable decision Caterham have made so far. (Well, apart from dropping Luiz Razia and Davide Valsecchi from their GP2 team to hire VDG and Gonzalez… and dropping Trulli for Petrov…)

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 24th April 2012, 20:33

      Well, apart from dropping Luiz Razia and Davide Valsecchi from their GP2 team to hire VDG and Gonzalez… and dropping Trulli for Petrov…

      Razia and Valsecchi have gotten off to a pretty good start of the 2012 GP2 season, but did they really show that much promise in 2011?

      Petrov is doing ok, I think, although it’s a little hard to make a good comparison with Kovalainen, because Caterham haven’t had many trouble-free races yet.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th April 2012, 2:37

        In the three races that they’ve both finished, Petrov has beaten Kovalainen in all three. But they’re being hampered by their own issues and the high reliability of the grid. By this time last year, they had already developed a firm grasp on tenth place in the WCC. But now they’re going to need at least a 13th place to pass Marussia. The bottom end of last year’s championship came down to 13th placings, but right now, it looks like Marussia have the more-reliable car, and as long as they do, Caterham are going to have a tough time clawing it back.

        Although on the bright side, Petrov fended off Ricciardo for most of the Bahrain Grand Prix, and the Toro Rosso is clearly a much-faster car than the Caterham. Ricciardo only caught Petrov in the second round of stops.

  8. jhr9988 (@rhj8899) said on 25th April 2012, 3:26

    $$$$$$ :)

  9. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 25th April 2012, 13:45

    I’m sure he can still provide them with some good feedback. 3 drivers testing a car are better than 2 in my opinion. One driver may pick up on something another does not.

    • ME4ME (@me4me) said on 25th April 2012, 16:06

      I dissagree. A driver needs time to get to feel comfortable in the car. And without knowing the car, how are you gonna tell which upgrades work or do not work?

      Anyway, strange decision by Caterham. Van der garde would be the obvious choise.

  10. Chirs said on 26th April 2012, 1:30

    Fernandes has obviously got sick of spending his own money on the team, EQ8 air asia etc, and is now selling test seats to the highest bidder. Strange option considering they are being outperformed by Marussia this year.

  11. BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th April 2012, 10:46

    It seems the first day of the test will be given to either drivers the teams see as high potential or pay for testing while doing mostly basical setup, shake down and fixed speed aero runs (Gonzalez, ‘D Ambrosio)

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