Caterham has revealed the car it hopes will bring it in to the midfield battle in 2013 in Jerez.
The CT-03, which will be piloted by an all-new driver line-up of Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde, was unveiled at the Spanish track shortly before the start of the first pre-season test.
Mark Smith, Technical Director, said the car had “significant changes” to the diffuser, engine cover and cooling exits, which added up to a strong package.
“[The] CT03 is the first car we have produced in the Leafield Technical Centre so it marks an important milestone in the development of our team,” he said.
“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.”
Smith also said like most teams the 2014 regulations, which will be a big shift from the 2013 cars, had played a big part in their approach to this season.
“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,” he added.
“With that in mind we decided that CT03 would be an evolution of CT01 rather than a complete re-design, allowing us to focus our resources on developing areas of last year’s package where opportunities would give us the greatest return, whilst also beginning work on the 2014 package.”
The team is also in throes of completing its own ‘driver in the loop’ simulator, which Smith claims “is a major asset for our team that puts us on a par with any of our competitors”.