Formula 1

Every Formula 1 Team's Minimum Target for Rest of 2014 Season

Neil JamesFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2014

Every Formula 1 Team's Minimum Target for Rest of 2014 Season

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    Drew Gibson/Getty Images

    The 2014 Formula One season is 11 races old. Only eight remain, starting with this Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa.

    Every team entered the year with targets for the season ahead. Some have been hit, some have been missed and some have been blown out of the water as the teams and drivers made good and bad discoveries about where they stand relative to the opposition.

    Mercedes and Marussia are among those smiling; Ferrari and Lotus are not.

    The summer break will have given all the teams a chance to reflect on their position and set themselves new goals for the rest of the year.

    From the back of the grid to the front, here's what they should be.

Caterham

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    A new nose would be nice as well.
    A new nose would be nice as well.Mark Thompson/Getty Images

    Caterham are having a bit of a nightmare year.

    They have the worst enginea Renaultand a chassis which is at best the equal of Marussia's. Marcus Ericsson doesn't appear to be a star of the future, while his more able team-mate Kamui Kobayashi appears to have his seat up for sale now.

    Andre Lotterer will take it for Spa. Though an exceptional sportscar driver, it's unlikely he'll do better than the Japanese.

    But whoever is driving the cars, Caterham's season goal remains the same as it was at the start.

    They currently lie 11th in the constructors' championship. Finishing the year one place higher would, per Autosport.com, be worth $20 million.

    To achieve that, they realistically need at least one pointand for that to happen, they need to have at least one car running at the end of a race with 10 or more retirements.

    It's unlikely to happen, but aiming for last would be a little bit silly.

    Minimum Target: 10th in the constructors' championship.

Sauber

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    Lars Baron/Getty Images

    Sauber benefited from having the highly talented Nico Hulkenberg in one of their cars for 2013. Ten points finishes for the German and one for his team-mate, Esteban Gutierrez, gave them seventh in the constructors' championship.

    This season, the picture is less rosy. Eleven races in, the team are yet to score a point and lie 10th in the standings.

    But improvements have been seen in recent races. The C33s are certainly quicker than the Marussias and Caterhams, and a points finish looks ever more likely.

    They're unlikely to catch Lotus and Toro Rosso, but will want to have the two backmarkers behind them at the end of the year.

    Minimum Target: Ninth in the constructors' championship.

Marussia

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    Lars Baron/Getty Images

    Before the season started, Marussia will have been aiming for 10th in the constructors' championship. Having finished 10th last year too, doing it again would net them $30 million of prize money according to Autosport.com.

    As it happens, they could do even better. Jules Bianchi's ninth-place finish at Monaco gave Marussia their first-ever points, and with Sauber and Caterham yet to score, the Russian team lies in ninth place.

    Keeping ninth would be great, but with Sauber showing improvements in recent races that may be tough.

    Their goal remains the same as it was pre-seasonto beat Caterham.

    Minimum Target: 10th in the constructors' championship.

Lotus

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    Lars Baron/Getty Images

    Lotus had an excellent 2013, but they lost key staff and their best driver for 2014. A weak Renault engine and disastrous pre-season testing display only made matters worse.

    After 11 rounds, they have just eight points and lie eighth in the constructors' championship.

    In Romain Grosjean they have a driver capable of putting in excellent performances, so if the team can find just a few tenths they'll be in regular points-scoring contention.

    But they're still likely to need others to fail, and there's no guarantee they'll be able to add any points at all.

    Lotus would ideally want to beat Toro Rosso to seventh, but that could be a stretchthe gap is nine points and the Toro looks the better car.

    Keeping Sauber behind should be the first priority.

    Minimum Target: Eighth in the constructors' championship.

Toro Rosso

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    Drew Gibson/Getty Images

    Toro Rosso, like their big brothers Red Bull, have had their season hampered by the poor Renault engine.

    They've scored just 17 points, a figure technical director James Key called "pathetic" when speaking to Autosport.com earlier this week.

    Reliability should be their main concern going into the second part of the season.

    Currently seventh in the constructors' championship, they're not going to catch the Mercedes-powered teams up ahead.

    But keeping both cars running until the end of races should ensure Lotus and Sauber don't get the chance to catch up.

    Minimum Target: Seventh in the constructors' championship.

McLaren

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    Drew Gibson/Getty Images

    McLaren started the year with a bang, scoring 33 points at the opening race in Australia.

    Both Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen stood on the podium; neither have returned.

    The British team were horribly disappointed with fifth in the constructors' championship in 2013, and it could be even worse this season. They're currently sixth, one point behind Force India.

    They're not going to catch Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams or Ferrariso the aim must be to avoid being the last-placed Mercedes-powered team.

    Minimum Target: Fifth in the constructors' championship.

Force India

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    Mark Thompson/Getty Images

    Since arriving in F1 at the start of the 2008 season, Force India's final placings in the constructors' championship have been tenth, ninth, seventh, sixth, seventh and sixth.

    In a bid to do better this year, they moved their focus to the VJM07 earlier than usual, and already have more points than they scored in the whole of 2013.

    They're currently locked in a tight scrap with McLaren for fifth place. Their drivers are capable, the car is decent and the engine is top-notch.

    They can't realistically finish lower than sixth, so holding station for a best-ever finishing position has to be their target.

    Minimum Target: Fifth in the constructors' championship.

Williams

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    Petr David Josek/Associated Press

    Williams hit the ground running in pre-season testing and were tipped as a dark horse before the season kicked off in Australia.

    Reality didn't quite match up to expectations at first, but they've found their feet and are now vying with Red Bull to be best of the rest behind Mercedes.

    They're quicker at some circuits, slower at others.

    But the Austrian team are probably out of reach, so Williams will focus on claiming a no-less-prestigious scalpthat of Ferrari.

    Only seven points separate the two teams, and the Williams is the better car.

    If Felipe Massa can join Valtteri Bottas in recording a string of good results, the Grove-based team could beat the Prancing Horse for the first time since 1997.

    Minimum Target: Third in the constructors' championship.

Ferrari

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    Darko Vojinovic/Associated Press

    Ferrari have been specialists in disappointment for several years now, and 2014 has proved no different.

    Their middle-of-the-road engine is no match for the all-conquering Mercedes, and the F14 T isn't a good enough chassis to challenge the Renault-engined Red Bull.

    Their season is being saved by one man, Fernando Alonso, who has consistently extracted every tenth of performance from his car. He has scored 115 of the team's 142 points, and Mario Andretti was right when he told Formula1.com that the Spaniard was "keeping Ferrari alive."

    The Scuderia are currently fighting Williams for third in the standings.

    For a team of their size, any lower than that would be embarrassingthey have to hang on to their position.

    Minimum Target: Third in the constructors' championship.

Red Bull

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    Petr David Josek/Associated Press

    Red Bull have won the last four drivers' and constructors' championships2014 will see the end of their streak.

    Currently second in the standings, they're too far behind Mercedes to dream of catching upand far enough ahead of those behind that they won't themselves be caught.

    Their main challenge on the track in the remaining eight races will come from Williams. The British team have seen an upturn in form and look capable of beating the Bulls at many circuits.

    Red Bull will aim to come out on top more often than not.

    Minimum Target: Be best of the rest behind Mercedes in at least five of the remaining eight races.

Mercedes

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    Mark Thompson/Getty Images

    Mercedes have the fastest car by a country mile and two top drivers.

    They've already got the constructors' championship wrapped up, so their goal now should be to do good things for the sportand ensure we get to see a thrilling battle for the drivers' championship.

    That means sorting out reliability and keeping team orders firmly locked away in the safe.

    Minimum Target: Give fans a title race decided by pace and performance, not luck and reliability.

     

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