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Fernandes: Caterham has moved ‘light years’ on since debut
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Posted By: James Allen  |  26 Jan 2012   |  9:29 pm GMT  |  8 comments

Caterham team boss Tony Fernandes says his squad prepares to enter the new season “light years ahead” of where it started in Formula 1 two years ago, and must now look to score points for the first time.

A day on from issuing a teaser shot of the new CT01, the outfit formerly known as Lotus on Thursday officially became the first Formula 1 team to unveil a 2012 challenger via the front cover of F1 Racing magazine and on its own website.

Steady improvement has characterised the squad’s first two seasons in the sport but technical stability under Mike Gascoyne’s leadership appears to have allowed the design team to take a more aggressive approach for 2012. While the car’s platypus-style nose has unsurprisingly received most attention so far, the sculpted sidepods and some of the intricate detail on the front wing point to aerodynamic progress.

“This car represents another step forward for us,” Fernandes told Caterham F1’s official website. “The detail right across the whole package is light years ahead of where we were when we first started out, and we are all excited about seeing what it can do when we get on track.”

He added: “For me this is a new year, a new start as Caterham, and the next chapter in our story. This is the first time our whole design team has really been able to get its teeth into creating our own product and I know it will be a progression from the T128, technically and in terms of its performance.”

Caterham pulled comprehensively clear of Marussia and HRT last season and increasingly began to trouble the lower end of the midfield in race conditions. Fernandes reckons the fact it now has access to Red Bull’s KERS for the first time will prove a key additional weapon in its armoury.

“Target wise, I have been quoted as saying I want us to score a point this year and that really has to be the aim. It has to be,” he admitted. “Towards the end of last year we were so close to the midfield cars, but our lack of KERS limited our capabilities. This year, however, with the people and facilities we have in the factory and the wind tunnel, and with KERS, I am confident that we will become a danger to many of the midfield teams, and yes, I want us to achieve a point somewhere in 2012 – maybe two if we are very lucky!”

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8 Comments
  1. Stuart Harrison says:

    Good luck to them! It’s about time for one of the “new teams” to start mixing things up with the established teams.

  2. goferet says:

    Gotta love the optimism a new season brings for every team & driver up and down the grid.

    But well done to Caterham for it appears they are really hungry for success in F1 & are not one of those teams that just exist simply to make up the numbers & make some quick dosh by selling seats to pay drivers e.g. Williams F1 Team

    To further prove their seriousness, I can’t think of any new or backmarker team that pulled off this feat of being the first team to launch an F1 car, most midfield/backmarker teams are too disorganized or lack enough man power/funds to make this happen

    As for the goal of scoring a point or two, well, Caterham maybe biting off more than they can chew there but who knows, if the stars are aligned in your favour, miracle points are always on offer in Formula 1 especially in wet races.

    Now, if only they could show Trulli (and his power steering excuses) the door, Caterham would really give the midfield something to think about, that’s if that piece of machinery isn’t as slow as it looks.

    1. kristian says:

      Agreed, Trulli has been around a long time and as quick as he was Caterham have enough experience with Kovalainen. Stick Sutil in the other seat if you can look past the night club incident and I think they’d have a better driver lineup.

      Also, KERS is going to make a bigger impact than a lot of arm chair enthusiasts realize. 0.4 sec/lap is for qualifying… but even more benefit when racing wheel to wheel.

    2. Andrew says:

      Aargghh, can people give Trulli a break! If its ok for Massa, Webber and Hamilton to have a bad season then why can’t Trulli?

      If he likes the car he is the fastest qualifier out there.

      I think they’ll give him the first 4 races and then get shut of him if he is the same as last season.

      If the Caterham is a decent midfield car then watch Trulli put it in the top ten at Monaco.
      Remember my words !

  3. Kenty says:

    I’d love to see Petrov in the second seat, afraid Trulli has had his time now…

    Good to see the enthusiasm within the Caterham team, hope it transforms into success for them

  4. Davexxx says:

    These are the only pictures I’ve seen (of a 2012 F1 car) so far – I notice these ones cleverly don’t clearly show the ‘bent humped front’ that everyone’s complaining about!! Or perhaps Caterham’s don’t suffer such? Anyway Good For Them that they’ve come out first and I hope they do well this year.

    1. vvipkho says:

      You can go to Caterham F1 website to see it. http://www.caterhamf1.com

  5. justabloke says:

    I think these guys are doing great, remember how long it took Toleman, to take the fight to the bottom of the established order? Must be something about underdogs, back in the day Toleman was my favourite team. Not long after they morphed into Benetton round about 84/85 ? I remember Greg Field running a tour of the Station Lane factory. The trophy cabinet was prety sparse, in fact all the trophioes were sat on top of one filling cabinet If I remember correctly. Can’t imagine that Leafield will have in common with the old Station Lane indutrial unit, excpet the fighting spirit. Come on Caterham…….

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