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Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde have launched the Caterham CT03 in Jerez

New car retains steep step in nose

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 13/02/13 11:16am

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New Caterham drivers Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde have unveiled the new CT03 ahead of the first test in Jerez.

The team relocated from Norfolk to their new base in the former Super Augri and Arrows factory in Leafield last summer and this is the first car to be produced in the facility.

The challenger boasts a steep step in the nose, whilst the sidepods are aggressively cut-off to try and increase airflow to the 'coke-bottle' area.

Technical Director Mark Smith says whilst the car is an evolution of its predecessors, it will feature a number of new parts that they hope will help them move closer to the midfield.

Testing on Sky Sports

From dawn to dusk, Sky Sports Online will be providing live interactive commentary from trackside at both Jerez and Barcelona on every day of testing this winter, while Sky Sports News will be providing regular live updates from the tests, starting with Jerez on February 5-8.

A round-up show featuring the day's interviews from Jerez will go out at 9pm each evening of the test on Sky Sports F1.

"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. 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 said.

"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.

"We have made a number of significant changes to the car - 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."

Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz thinks the car looks very similar to the 2012 model, but feels their driver line-up could keep them ahead of rivals Marussia.

"The Caterham driver line-up is slightly more experienced than Marussia's might be with rookie Giedo van der Garde lining up alongside Charles Pic, who at least has 20 grands prix under his belt," he said.

"The car is essentially a tidied up version of their 2012 model; the same basic concept but with some nice aerodynamic detail work."

The 2013 car launches
Lotus - January 28th, Enstone.
McLaren - January 31st, Woking.
Force India - February 1st, Silverstone.
Ferrari - February 1st, Maranello.
Sauber - February 2nd, Hinwil.
Red Bull - February 3rd, Milton Keynes.
Mercedes - February 4th, Jerez.
Toro Rosso - February 4th, Jerez.
Caterham - February 5th, Jerez.
Marussia - February 5th, Jerez.
Williams - February 19th, Barcelona.

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