Tony Fernandes believes he held Caterham's Formula 1 progress back by trying to do too much himself, but now reckons the team's structure is sorted.
After a troubled period for both his F1 team and football club QPR, Fernandes says he has had plenty of time to reflect on where he could have done better. Although denying that he has diluted his efforts by getting involved in too many projects – including AirAsia, Tune, QPR, and Caterham – he concedes that he should have let others do more.
"I don't think I spread myself too thinly but I should have delegated more, as I do in my other companies," he said, during a visit to the Monaco Grand Prix to announce a tie-up between his Tune Group and ADS Securities. "I am not that involved in my other businesses as much, and I should have been like that.
"But this is the danger of passion conflicting with common sense. You get excited and carried away and you throw away all the things you are good at, like planning and analyzing."
Fernandes caused a stir on Twitter earlier this year when he suggested fans of relegated QPR should be patient because it had taken three years to get Caterham right. Some cynics questioned exactly what he had "got right" at Caterham, still to score a point since entering F1 in 2010. Fernandes stands by what he wrote, though, explaining it referred to the internal structuring of the team, not its results.
"Are we 100 percent where we want to be? No. We have a nice facility at Leafield, we are beginning to make our own production, so we are in the right direction," he said. "I am not saying we are going to be world champions soon, but I do believe that if we continue this way then we have a good chance."
CHANGE OF PLANS FOR 2013
Fernandes believes that Caterham made a mistake last year in trying too hard to master the blown diffuser. But, after initially planning to write off this season so it could concentrate all its efforts on 2014, he says more resources are being diverted back to this year to capitalize on current wind tunnel gains.
"I knew it was going to take a long time," Fernandes said. "Last year was definitely a blip – it was a disappointment.
"I thought this year we would definitely be in the midfield. And, if we hadn't screwed up last year, we should have been. But it is all about learning.
"We tried to be too clever last year with the blown diffuser and that screwed us up, whereas if we just continued on the normal pattern we would probably have been in the midfield by now."
He added: "We have to stop developing this car very soon, but we have extended it because we smell the midfield now. If we can carry on we will definitely be in the midfield, but we have to stop at some stage to work on the 2014 car. We don't have the resources to build two cars at the same time."