Pictures: Caterham unveil their F1 2013 car – the CT03
PUBLISHED: 11:01 05 February 2013 | UPDATED: 17:59 05 February 2013
Norfolk marque Caterham have unveiled the CT03 – the car they hope will see them make progress during the 2013 Formula One season.
The challenger was unveiled on the morning of the first winter test of the season, at the Spanish circuit of Jerez – with the confirmed driver line-up of Charles Pic, who will race in car number 20, and Giedo van der Garde who will be 21 for the year.
Techincal director Mark Smith said: “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.
“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 year’s package where opportunities would give us the greatest return, while also beginning work on the 2014 package.
“We have made a number of significant changes that takes it from the package that gained us 10th place in the championship in Brazil in 2012.”
With a lighter livery, the CT03 also has a lower chassis with redesigned sidepods as well as a new diffuser, engine cover and cooling exits. However, the car has retained its stepped nose – which a number of other teams have removed thanks to new 2013 rules that have allowed ‘modesty boards’ to help improve the aesthetic profiles of this year’s cars.
“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,” Smith added.
“Personally I am excited about the season ahead, and the challenges that face us. Regardless of the resources and budget available, all the teams will be racing in 2013 with one eye on next year when the new rules may present opportunities to make significant gains, much greater than those available under static rules.
“Our whole team is ready for its fourth season in F1 and I am sure it is going to be another thrilling championship.”
Van der Garde went on to complete the team’s first day of winter testing on Tuesday by completing a healthy 64 laps, finishing with a time more than 1.6 seconds quicker than Max Chilton’s Marussia.
Team principal Cyril Abiteboul added: “I’m happy with what we have achieved today. We began day one by revealing the 2013 car with its new livery and I’m very pleased with the reaction we’ve had from around the world to the updated car.
“Performance-wise it’s too early to tell where we’re going to line up this season. We’re realistic enough to know that it will take a big effort to fight the teams ahead, but we are patient and we’ve set ourselves achievable targets.”
Hethel-backed Lotus saw Romain Grosjean complete 54 laps and finish third fastest, behind Mark Webber’s Red Bull and Jenson Button’s pace-setting McLaren.