Caterham unveil CT05 on a sporadic start for 2014 Formula One testing in Jerez
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Hingham-backed Caterham beat a delay to eventually unveil their 2014 challenger, on the first day of Formula One’s winter testing at Jerez, Spain.
This year’s teams have had a number of changes to deal with ahead of the new season, including new V6 turbo engines and a host of altered technical regulations – all of which meant Caterham’s new car didn’t make its original early morning unveiling on Tuesday.
However, the Norfolk marque did at least beat Lotus and Marussia in getting their new car on track on the opening day of the four-day test – albeit for just the one installation lap taken by Marcus Ericsson.
“I’m very proud to have completed my first lap as an F1 driver, and want to thank everyone in the team for working so hard to get the car ready,” said the Swede.
“We’d planned to unveil it before the track opened but put that back after a few problems with the final car assembly, but that was to be expected with so much new technology on the car.
“The reaction to the car has been huge – people either love it or hate it, but for me it’s not really important what it looks like as what counts is how quick it is. To have got that first lap out of the way and on to day two is a good feeling.”
Caterham’s CT05 has one of the more extreme front nose designs on the grid – while Hethel-backed Lotus are confident the FIA will not ban their own radical nose design.
Toro Rosso technical director James Key questioned the legality of the E22’s ‘twin-tusk’ shape, which is fundamentally different to any of the other 10 cars that have so far been revealed for this season.
Key acknowledged the nose was “a clever design”, but perhaps needed clarification as it was an “extreme” one which potentially compromised the spirit of the regulations. Confident Enstone-based Lotus has the support of the FIA, technical director Nick Chester said: “As you know we have passed all the necessary crash tests.
“We are very confident our design complies with all the FIA legal requirements. We have just taken an innovative direction, and one that’s different to the other teams.
“Where there are so many variations in design, there is always bound to be a little talk, but we remain relaxed and focused on our design and progression.”
The differentiation between the noses is due to the interpretation of the teams with regard to the new regulations. Chester added: “There appear to be some elegant solutions and others that certainly don’t look as nice.
“We’re very happy with the direction we have taken and it will be very interesting to see how the cars perform once we get a proper chance to compare them on track.”
Lotus are the only team not present at the opening pre-season test in Jerez due to delays with their build, stemming from financing issues.
However, Chester is confident they will be on track for the second test in Bahrain next month as he said: “The car’s coming together pretty well now.
“The build is well advanced and we think we’ll be in good shape for Bahrain come the next test.”
It was Lewis Hamilton who ushered in Formula One’s new turbo-charged era on day one in Jerez.
There was a whirlwind rush of three car unveilings in the space of 30 minutes in the pit lane in Jerez ahead of the opening morning session. Mercedes, Red Bull and Force India all showed off their new challengers and as has been commonplace so far, the nose design of all three were very different.
Hamilton was first out at exactly 9am local time when the track opened, and the first impressions of the new sound that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has previously claimed would turn fans away is that it is different.
Gone is the deep, throaty roar of the V8 and in its place is a more whiny, higher pitched tone that on occasion on Hamilton’s install lap sounded akin to something from MotoGP when in the distance.