Caterham take wraps off CT03 in Spain 05 Feb 2013
Caterhams 2013 car, the Renault-powered CT03, was unveiled in the Jerez pit lane in Spain on Tuesday, day one of the first official 2013 pre-season test. It was revealed by the UK-based teams new driver line-up of former Marussia racer Charles Pic and Dutch newcomer Giedo van der Garde.
The season ahead presented us with an interesting challenge early in the design process as it is the last year of the current regulations before the introduction of the new engine rules in 2014, explained Mark Smith, Caterhams technical director.
With that in mind we decided that CT03 would be an evolution of CT01 rather than a complete redesign, allowing us to focus our resources on developing areas of last years package where opportunities would give us the greatest return, whilst also beginning work on the 2014 package.
We have made a number of significant changes to the car that takes it from the package that gained us tenth place in the 2012 championship in Brazil into CT03. Among the most obvious are around the lower chassis where the sidepods have been significantly undercut to improve airflow to the rear of the car.
The diffuser, engine cover and cooling exits have also seen major changes and there are more subtle improvements to other areas of the car, such as the sidepod turning vanes and the lower tea-tray area. This is the package we will take to race one in Australia and as part of the 2013 upgrade program we will then bring new front and rear wings and a new diffuser soon after the start of the season.
Cyril Abiteboul, Caterham team Principal, commented: This is the first car we have produced since I joined the team so this is a proud day for me. I am very pleased that we have been able to allocate our resources and budgets as efficiently as possible to produce a car that will allow us to consolidate our position in Formula One whilst also starting work on the 2014 car as early as possible.
From the outside, the most obvious change to CT03 car is the livery. Whilst retaining the green and yellow paint scheme that has become synonymous with our team since 2010, we have refreshed both colours to enhance their visibility on track and give them what will be, we believe, one of the best looking liveries in the pit lane.
Driving the cars this year are Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde, two drivers who give us a good mix of youth and experience inside and outside Formula One. Charles and Giedo are both young and dynamic and we expect that their enthusiasm for the sport and the team will be fuelling our growth.
Tony Fernandes, Co-Chairman of the Caterham Group, added: This is the first car we have produced from our factory in Leafield and the last we will build under the current regulations. The team has produced a car that is an evolution of the 2012 car, building on that platform to give us a chance of continuing to make progress towards the teams ahead, whilst also dedicating enough resource to start work as early as possible on the 2014 car.
For me this is going to be the story of the 2013 season - every team wants to be as competitive as possible this year, but with such fundamental rule changes next year resources and budgets dictate that there will have to be a cut-off point in the development of the current season cars so focus can be switched to 2014. We will bring updates to the car after several races and I am happy that the plan we have for 2013 will give us the chance to fight this year, but, importantly, will allow us to take full advantage of the new rules in 2014.
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