Michael Bailey, Formula One correspondent
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Hingham-backed Caterham have confirmed their 2013 car will be launched on Saturday, February 5 at the Spanish circuit in Jerez.
The CT03 will be unveiled on the opening morning of the first pre-season test, before taking to the track to start preparations for the opening round of the season in Australia – which takes place at Mebourne on March 17.
With Charles Pic the only confirmed driver for the Norfolk marque, Caterham believe they will have named their second man before the CT03 is launched.
Hethel-backed Lotus are yet to confirm when their 2013 challenger will be unveiled.
As for Caterham’s fellow 2010 new boys, Marussia have confirmed Timo Glock will not race for them this season after team principal John Booth admitted finances had forced their hand.
Glock had a contract to race for Marussia in 2013 and drew a salary from the team– rather than the increasingly popular ‘pay driver’ model where a seat is secured by the amount of sponsorship and revenue a driver can bring.
It is a similar situation to that being faced by Heikki Kovalainen, who is also facing a 2013 F1 exit at Caterham.
Marussia being pipped to 10th in last year’s constructors’ championship by Caterham in the final race, and the multi-million pound hole that left, made Glock’s exit all the more likely.
“Timo has made a very significant contribution to our team over the past three seasons, helping us to develop our package to the point where for a large proportion of the 2012 season we were holding 10th place,” said Booth.
“The ongoing challenges facing the industry mean we have had to take steps to secure our long-term future. Tough economic conditions prevail and the commercial landscape is difficult for everyone, Formula One teams included.”
Vitaly Petrov – who won that 10th place for Caterham in the final race of the season – and Sebastien Buemi have been touted as potential replacements for Glock, and would both bring financial backing.
Petrov also remains in talks with Caterham over their remaining vacancy for next season alongside Pic – one of Marussia’s drivers last season.
Glock’s alternatives within F1 are slim, with only a seat apiece at Caterham and Force India still to be confirmed for the coming season – although the German has been linked with a switch to the DTM touring car series back home.
“I have had three excellent years with Marussia, during which I had the chance to actively participate in building and developing the team in its endeavours to succeed,” said Glock. “Although it is not the path I expected to be taking, I am in fact very excited about what the future holds in terms of my career.”