Caterham CT03 Officially Unveiled
By Brandon Turkus
February 05, 2013
Caterham F1, formerly known as Team Lotus in 2010 and 2011, has not been one of F1’s bright spots. Since its debut season in 2010, its highest race finish was eleventh place, in last year’s finale in Brazil, and at the hands of Russian Vitaly Petrov. In all three seasons of its existence, the team has finished tenth in the Constructor standings.
Even with Renault power and a new, home-grown car, its chances of success in 2013 are slim. The car is, after all, an evolution of last year’s model, which was consistently off the pace. Perhaps more troubling for Caterham, is its driver situation.
Frenchman Charles Pic is the closest thing Caterham has to a lead driver, in only his second season in F1. His highest race finish was twelfth while driving for Marussia at the 2012 Brazilian GP. While it seems he has some potential (he was a solid competitor in GP2, netting two victories and three podiums in his final season), he’s still got a lot to learn about F1.
His partner will be Giedo van der Garde, a Dutchman that’s actually about five years older than Pic. Van der Garde served as Caterham’s test and reserve driver last season, while campaigning for Caterham’s GP2 team. He finished sixth in last year’s GP2 series with two wins and six podiums.
This year’s championship should prove to be interesting, even at the back of the grid, where Marussia and Caterham are the only two traditional backmarkers. With any luck, Caterham’s drivers will mature, and the team will offer a challenge to the traditional mid-pack contenders like Scuderia Toro Rosso and Force India.