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Caterham launches with an eye on 2014

ESPN Staff
February 5, 2013 « Marussia launches 2013 car | Button fastest on opening day »
The CT03 in all its glory © Sutton Images
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Caterham unveiled its 2013 car, the CT03, shortly before the start of the first day of testing in Jerez.

From the outside the most obvious change is the livery which while still green and yellow have been lightened to, so team principal Cyril Abiteboul explained, "to enhance their visibility on track and give them what will be, we believe, one of the best looking liveries in the pitlane".

"This is the first car we have produced from our factory in Leafield and the last we will build under the current regulations," team owner Tony Fernandes said. "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."

Technical director Mark Smith said the major differences from 2012's CT01 were "around the lower chassis where the sidepods have been significantly undercut to improve airflow to the rear of the car" and that the diffuser, engine cover and cooling exits "have also seen major changes".

He explained that the car would go to Australia and then be updated with new front and rear wings and a new diffuser as soon as possible after that.

"This is the first car we have produced since I joined the team so this is a proud day for me," Abiteboul said. "I'm very pleased that we've 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 while also starting work on the 2014 car as early as possible.

"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. They provide clear proof of our dedication to developing young driver talent.

"Off track our team is in a healthy position. We are still a small team but our stated objective is to be the most efficient of all F1 teams."

Fernandes said he would be playing less of a day-to-day role in 2013 but remained closely involved nonetheless. "I am realistic enough to know that we still have a long journey ahead of us, but the dream is steadily coming true. We have invested in the long-term, not taken any short-cuts and we have everything in place to keep moving forwards."

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