Caterham CT03 launch: First pictures

2013 F1 cars

Caterham CT03, 2013

The Caterham CT02 has made its first appearance in time for the start of testing.

Technical director Mark Smith said the car is “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”.

Smith added the car will remain in the same configuration for the first race in Australia. New front and rear wings and a new diffuser will be added “soon after the start of the season”.

Among the changes to this year’s car are more deeply undercut sidepods. “The diffuser, engine cover and cooling exits have also seen major changes,” adds Smith, “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 first car the team have produced since the arrival of new team principal Cyril Abiteboul. “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,” he said.

“From the outside, the most obvious change to CT03 car is the livery. Whilst retaining the green and yellow paint scheme that has become synonymous with our team since 2010, we have refreshed both colours to enhance their visibility on track and give them what will be, we believe, one of the best looking liveries in the pit lne.”

Caterham have a new driver pairing of Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde. They finished 11th in the last race in Brazil and need to go one better to get their first F1 points on the board.

The CT03 follows the CT01, last year’s F1 car, and the CT02, which is the company’s road car project with Renault.

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77 comments on Caterham CT03 launch: First pictures

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  1. Popcorn said on 5th February 2013, 7:50

    The stepped nose seems to be predominent amongst Renault-powered cars, I’m starting to wonder why.

  2. jh1806 (@jh1806) said on 5th February 2013, 7:51

    The colour of that car looks fabulous (and the livery generally) however it’s a shame they haven’t hidden that nose step :(

  3. robfff said on 5th February 2013, 7:54

    Worst looking car so far!

  4. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 5th February 2013, 7:54

    A very nice shade of green. I like this simple yet eye pleasing livery.

  5. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 5th February 2013, 7:56

    The livery is great, what a cracking shade of green but the CT03 is not a looker. Still, let’s hope it can push them closer to the midfield.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 5th February 2013, 10:20

      @keithcollantine calls it CT02 (as evolution of CT01!) for some reason I can’t explain…

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 5th February 2013, 10:21

      The Caterham CT02 has made its first appearance in time for the start of testing.

      Technical director Mark Smith said the car is “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”.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 5th February 2013, 12:35

        Just a mistake, Given the amount of work he puts into the site, all for very little reward, I think we can forgive him.

        When I see a mistake, I use the contact for to send him an e-mail, just because mentioning it means that everyone will notice it, rather than just a few, also it doesn’t clog up the comments with off topic stuff.

  6. Master firelee (@master-firelee) said on 5th February 2013, 7:59

    Is that a different shade of green? maybe the lack of yellow stripe is confusing me but either way it doesn’t look very pretty to me.

  7. Khonichev said on 5th February 2013, 7:59

    Dat front wing

  8. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th February 2013, 8:00

    They finished 11th in the last race in Brazil and need to go one better to get their first F1 points on the board.

    First, they took Charles Pic, whose only notable achievement to date has been losing tenth place for his team in the World Constructors’ Championship.

    Then they dropped both of their drivers – who might not have been blindingly fast, but they were pretty solid – in favour of Giedo van der Garde, who by all accounts has spent the past five years desperately trying to get into Formula 1.

    Now they’ve gone and launched a car that looks like their 2012 car with a few minor livery adjustments. Of the ten cars launched to date, the CT03 is perhaps the most conservative, uninspiring and downright boring. When Lotus released the E21, I remarked that it looked like nothing more than a slight evolution of the car that raced in Brazil. Well, forget evolution; the CT03 looks like nothing more than the car that raced in Brazil.

    At this rate, Caterham had better hope that Scorpion Racing gets accepted to the grid – because that’s the only way they’re going to stave off the wooden spoon.

    • ME4ME (@me4me) said on 5th February 2013, 8:12

      Have to disagree. The new Caterham looks way more sofisticated then the Marussia. Everything looks much more tuned to perfection, rather than Marussias car which looks very basic. I expect Caterham to beat them this year again. Entering the midfield is a total different matter though..

    • graham228221 (@graham228221) said on 5th February 2013, 8:27

      Sorry Caterham, may as well head home. Some guy has written off your chances for the entire season based on a few pictures – game over guys.

      • Dphect (@dphect) said on 5th February 2013, 8:40

        Oh don’t worry, @prisoner-monkeys is always right. He’s a specialist in all areas.

        ;)

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th February 2013, 8:42

          And don’t you forget it.

          • Aditya F. Yahya (@adityafakhri) said on 5th February 2013, 9:05

            Pic isn’t that bad (IMO), he was able to catch up Timo last year on most occasion. also pretty solid and I don’t see any reasons why his ability can’t develop well.

            van der Garde on the other side (also IMO), is doubtful. he had been midfield runner in GP2 for 4 years. yes, he managed to win multiple grands prix but he was never challenging for the title. and those times on Friday practice in 2012, well nothing special.

            this year Marussia is KERS equipped. I wonder they would be a lot closer to Caterham. but who knows, both teams have inexperienced driver.

        • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 5th February 2013, 19:02

          @Dphect Depends what aspect of “specialist” you want to call @prisoner-monkeys, he’s quite special at being wrong ;} quite a number of times. I digress we’ll chalk it up to subjective thought

          Anyways I like the look of the car, the front wing is the same one (from the pictures) that they had in Brazil, so we’ll have to see what they run at Australia.

          • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 5th February 2013, 19:15

            Also what I can see differnt are side pods, slight changes to the rea, braking ducts aren’t as long but seem more rounded and wide, also there are three verticle aero parts (not sure what they’re called) instead of two sticking from the front of the side pod.

      • GeorgeTuk (@georgetuk) said on 5th February 2013, 11:46

        Ha ha, but we are all speculating at this point so it’s good to join in.

        He does have a point though, it does at first look seem very similar to last years car, Cyril (first name because the last name spelling would be pure guesswork!!) also doesn’t seem to be pointing out any significant differences in the piece above.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 5th February 2013, 8:48

      I guess that saving money on investment in the car meant it made even less point to spend much money in hiring top drivers @prisoner-monkey. I can imagine Heikki feeling no point in even trying hard to stay on if he is going to have to fight off Marussia all the way instead of having a go at the STR kids and the occasional other mid fielder.
      Lets hope they invest what they save for 2014, as it might well be that they won’t even have the money for 10th by then!

    • Prof Kirk (@prof-kirk) said on 5th February 2013, 10:13

      Have you seen the Mp4-28?

  9. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 5th February 2013, 8:02

    Still not too late to fit a modesty panel, this nose needs it. Otherwise, I quite like the back and I love the colour scheme.

  10. Ambik (@ambikm) said on 5th February 2013, 8:02

    The livery color is the best so far on this years grid. I seriously wish they could have dumped the step nose.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th February 2013, 8:17

      Maybe it’s just the angle the light is hitting the car. Or maybe it’s my colour-blindness wreaking havoc on what I see (though I doubt it; there’s no red to interfere with what I assume is supposed to be green). Or maybe my opinion is just being coloured by recent decisions the team has made … but the CT03 quite literally looks like a polished turd. It appears to me as a shiny brownish colour.

      Am I the only one seeing that?

      • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 5th February 2013, 8:38

        Yep. Only you… well, actually other color blind people might have similar perception, but in reality it’s a vibrant shade of green. Most people seem to like it, but I still prefer British racing green.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th February 2013, 11:43

          “Vibrant” is not the word I would use. “Violent” is, or maybe “virulent”.

          It’s a ghastly colour on a ghastly car.

          • Adam Blocker (@blockwall2) said on 5th February 2013, 12:06

            @prisoner-monkeys I am partially colour-blind as well (mostly blue/purple), and I think it looks pretty much as you have described it. A polished turd. That is a really ugly green.

          • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 5th February 2013, 12:34

            @prisoner-monkeys

            “Vibrant” is not the word I would use.

            Well, I’m trying to describe how it looks to most of us. I also filtered some of these photos through a “colour blindness simulator” just to get your perspective. I agree that they don’t look pretty.

          • Gdon (@gdon) said on 5th February 2013, 14:15

            @prisoner-monkeys
            Just curious.. what colour do you see the Ferrari with your condition?

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th February 2013, 21:53

            @gdon – I see it as red.

            I usually have problems with red on green or green on red, usually with the presence of a third, similar colour. The best example I can give you is a pool table: if you put the red ball and the brown ball next to each other on the green felt, and ask me to pick them apart, I won’t be able to do it (though if I see the numbers on the balls, I’ll be able to do it).

            Green seems to be the colour I have the most trouble with, so I’d say what’s happening here is that the darker colours on the CT03’s wings are skewing the colour of the rest of the car for me.

  11. that step nose resembles to 2012 Force India nose… greens should have been darker…

  12. LoreMipsumdOtmElor said on 5th February 2013, 8:05

    Beautiful. Thank God they kept the stepped nose. The modesty panel was the only thing that kept the 2013 Ferrari from beeing the best looking car so far.

  13. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 5th February 2013, 8:10

    That livery is horrible. What happened to the the yellow?…

  14. UNeedAFinn2Win said on 5th February 2013, 8:20

    Why would they invest in this years car?
    2013 is a transition year and for them there’s pretty much no reason to try hard. This year has been bought and paid for (literally) by their fluke win over Marussiaa at the last race and their decision to run two purses instead of actual racing drivers.
    And they should focus 100% on 2014, that is their golden opportunity to break into the middle pack.

    • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 5th February 2013, 8:44

      no reason to try hard

      Well actually there is this tiny, little, itsy-bitsy reason called “money”. Every place in the WCC is worth a lot of money and sponsors don’t want to invest in a team that isn’t even trying. Without money there is no 2014.

  15. Jarv F150 (@jarvf150) said on 5th February 2013, 8:34

    Looking pretty tidy – certainly better than the last three years.
    Not too sure about the colour though.

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