Tony Fernandes and Mike Gascoyne on Caterham’s 2012 charger

Caterham team principal Tony Fernandes has made it clear nothing less than the team's first points will do in 2012.

The Hingham-based team officially launched their new car ahead of the 2012 Formula One campaign on Thursday – the CT01.

And having spent their first two seasons beating their fellow 2010 new teams but little else, all Fernandes wants this year is for his Hingham-based outfit to finally break their points duck.

'Target-wise, I have been quoted as saying I want us to score a point this year and that really has to be the aim. It has to be,' said Fernandes.

'Towards the end of last year we were so close to the midfield cars, but our lack of Kers (power-boost button) limited our capabilities.


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'This year, however, with the people and facilities we have in the factory and the wind tunnel, and with Kers, I am confident we will become a danger to many of the midfield teams. And yes, I want us to achieve a point somewhere in 2012 – maybe two if we are very lucky.

'This car represents another step forward for us. The detail right across the whole package is light years ahead of where we were when we first started out.

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'We are all excited about seeing what it can do when we get on track.'

Caterham – set to move their racing operations to Leafield in Oxfordshire in August – were the first team to pass all the required FIA crash tests and will have their complete package ready for the opening test, which starts in Jerez on February 7.

Norwich-born technical chief Mike Gascoyne added: 'We need to see the car on track first and get feedback from the first tests.

'Until we run the car we only have numbers and simulation data to work with, but every team wants to move up the grid and we're no different.

'The car build has gone very smoothly. I think we'll be able to have a better and more competitive car. We look forward to getting it out, testing it, and proving what the numbers are telling us.'

The CT01 is the first 2012 charger to be unveiled – and as such, its nose has divided opinion with some describing it as 'ugly'.

However, Gascoyne expects other teams to come up with a similar design based on the new FIA rules for 2012.

'The regulations have changed to limit the height of the nosebox to try to ensure noses don't get too high,' said Gascoyne. 'Our challenge is you always want to get the chassis as high as possible to allow clean air flow to the underside of the car, and what you see on the CT01 is our solution to that.

"As we're the first car out it is obviously stirring up a lot of debate. But because of the 2012 regulations I think you'll probably be seeing this type of nose on most of the cars this year.'

Gascoyne added: 'Last year it was all about the blown diffuser, which we struggled with because not having it in 2010 meant we were always playing catch up throughout the 2011 season in comparison to other teams.

'The fact it's banned this year certainly plays to our advantage…so that eliminates a little of the competition in terms of technical development.

'It's no secret that we'll have Kers on the car this year – towards the end of last year (not having) it really started to affect us racing with the midfield cars.'

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