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Caterham unveil the CT03 in the Jerez pit lane // Caterham's 2013 car was unveiled by drivers Pic and Van der Garde

Published by Christine Blachford

The Caterham CT03 in the studio

Caterham's 2013 car broke cover today, emerging from the garage into the Jerez pit lane as the sun rose on the first day of testing in Spain. The CT03 has a similar colour-scheme to last year's car, but there is more green and less yellow, with the brighter colour limited to a stripe on the sidepod, and a patch at the back for Renault.

As with most of the other teams, Caterham openly admit this year's challenger is an evolution of the 2012 machinery, but they are proud of the fact it is the first to be produced in their new Leafield Technical Centre. Team Principal at Caterham, Cyril Abiteboul, is also happy with the car for a different reason.

This is the first car we have produced since I joined the team so this is a proud day for me. I am very pleased that we have 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 whilst also starting work on the 2014 car as early as possible.

- Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal

Changes to the design include areas around the sidepods which have been "significantly undercut to improve airflow" and to the diffuser and engine cover. Cooling the car seems to be a high priority for the team, and Technical Director Mark Smith admits they will be bringing the bigger upgrades (front and rear wings) as the season gets underway.

The menacing front end of the CT03
The menacing front end of the CT03

Along with a brand new car, the team are fielding an all-new driver line-up as well, with Charles Pic moving over from Marussia and Giedo van der Garde making his F1 debut. Abiteboul was full of praise and hope for the debut of this pairing.

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. Charles and Giedo are both young and dynamic and we expect that their enthusiasm for the sport and the team will be fuelling our growth.

- Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal

The Caterham team are feeling confident about the coming season, but they'll need to watch their wing mirrors closely. Marussia weren't far behind (sometimes in front!) in 2012, and it will likely be a similar battle this year as well.

All content in the series 2013 F1 launches




  • Is it me, or is there absolutely no Tony Fernandes (tune group/air asia etc) advertising on the car this year?

    Have to say, this is definitely the ugliest car so far, and judging from what Williams had been testing, I'm guessing there's will at least be more modest in the nasal area.

    I have been a Caterham/Team Lotus/Lotus Racing supporter from the beginning, but they're thoroughly disappointing me at the moment, I really want to stick with them, but it's hard when so much is now unknown.

    What do we think of the new paint job?

  • It's very...

    ...green.

  • The first photo I saw was from the side and it looked *horrible* especially after just looking at the Marussia. The front angles in these photos look much better even if it does look like a duck or something.

    I like the green.

    Is it me, or is there absolutely no Tony Fernandes (tune group/air asia etc) advertising on the car this year?

    Good spot, I hadn't noticed.

  • What do we think of the new paint job?

    It looks like a comic-book artist has converted a costume into a livery. Something along the lines of Green Lantern, or Electro.

    Having said that, under sunlight, the green doesn't look quite so intense... but I'm not a fan of the shape as much as some of the others.

  • not a fan of the nose, but i love the grey/green combo of the front wing.

    and yay for twiddly bits :)

  • Was interested to hear them say this is the spec they'll be taking to Australia, they must have some confidence that the concept is right in that case. Not surprised by the McGregor advertising, the GP2 team have had that for a year or so. Wouldn't be surprised if more seems to appear on the car this year from the GP2/WSR teams this year.

    I really do hope they change that nose though, Unless of course it has aero benefits... in which case, it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen! ha.

    Do we think they'll be beating Marussia at the end of the season this year? seems all square now, with 4 (ok, I know Pic isn't) rookies.

  • Was interested to hear them say this is the spec they'll be taking to Australia, they must have some confidence that the concept is right in that case.

    The Caterham seems a lot more detailed than any other launch car. It looks like it is ready to race

  • Is it me, or is there absolutely no Tony Fernandes (tune group/air asia etc) advertising on the car this year?

    I have a feeling he's trying to back out of this and the QPR project now that he's realised that they aren't on to a winner...

    Hideous car. Won't be surprised if they are still at the back this year.

  • Is it me, or is there absolutely no Tony Fernandes (tune group/air asia etc) advertising on the car this year?

    the force india only has the bosses sponsors on it and they get grief for that. can't win :)

  • thinking about it, caterham and marussia really are in the worst of positions this year. it's senseless wasting resources chasing regulations that will be thrown out of the window in november, but equally, yet another year of no progress is going to be awful.

  • looking at this some more. the green is pretty close to jaguar f1 green (unofficially the best livery of all time). if the nose wasn't so disgusting, i'd really like this car.

  • looking at this some more. the green is pretty close to jaguar f1 green (unofficially the best livery of all time). if the nose wasn't so disgusting, i'd really like this car.

    Marussia are also the only team using a cosworth engine this year, and there are no guarantees that they will make an engine that conforms to the 2014 rules.

    Also there have been stories that the bosses at Marussia have no money. I also have heard some rumblings about Caterhams plans for their car business being a bit too lofty for what they can actually achieve, so maybe they aren't in good shape either.

  • thinking about it, caterham and marussia really are in the worst of positions this year. it's senseless wasting resources chasing regulations that will be thrown out of the window in november, but equally, yet another year of no progress is going to be awful.

    Tricky position and it feels like Williams and STR are marking time as well, maybe STR not as much as before.

    looking at this some more. the green is pretty close to jaguar f1 green (unofficially the best livery of all time). if the nose wasn't so disgusting, i'd really like this car.

    Like most of the cars, the wings completely ruin the look. Those isn't nice on this one though and I'm not keen on the sidepods either. The engine cover is good. :)

  • Racecar Engineering are at Jerez and report the Caterham may have an illegal exhaust.. www.racecar-engin…brewing-at-jerez/

  • THEY ARE DEAD TO ME.

  • Is it me, or is there absolutely no Tony Fernandes (tune group/air asia etc) advertising on the car this year?

    Considering the amount of money he's splashing on QPR, it's probably unsurprising he's cut back on sponsorship in this department.

    The car looks frankly, awful. They've lost two good drivers and I think they will struggle even more this year, I wonder how long Fernandes fancies putting the coffers in, especially if QPR goes pigs up as well.

  • THEY ARE DEAD TO ME.

    awwww!

  • Racecar Engineering are at Jerez and report the Caterham may have an illegal exhaust.. www.racecar-engin…brewing-at-jerez/

    if you had to put money on which team would kick off the first technical controversy of the season.... not this one.

  • if you had to put money on which team would kick off the first technical controversy of the season.... not [Caterham].

    In a twisted way, that almost sounds like a perfect reason for a team to push the boat out in hopes that nobody will notice ;)

  • THEY ARE DEAD TO ME.

    I assumed they were dead to you when they dropped Heikki

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