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GP Week : Issue 181
F1 >>> NEWS EDITOR: Kate Walker firstname.lastname@example.org MOTOGP EDITOR: Michael Scott F1 NEWS EDITOR Abhishek Takle TECHNICAL EDITOR Paolo Filisetti RACE EDITOR Trent Price CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Leigh O'Gorman BUSINESS EDITOR Caroline Reid PRODUCTION ARTIST Cedric Dufour PHOTOGRAPHY Sutton Motorsport Images www.sutton-images.com Keith Sutton email@example.com: Mark Sutton, Patrik Lundin, Dirk Klynsmith, Daniel Kalisz PUBLISHER Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHED BY: Grand Prix Week Ltd 61 Watling Street, Towcester Northants NN12 6AG United Kingdom ADVERTISING: n Richard Partridge email@example.com Ph: + 44 1273 232 566 Mob: + 44 7771 567 644 n Mark Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org n SE Asia, Australasia GPWEEK (Australia) email@example.com .com WEEK CATERHAM BRING BACK THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE A disappointing start to the year has prompted Caterham to rehire Heikki Kovalainen, the Finnish racer who left the team at the end of 2011, with a view to using his expertise to bolster the team’s relatively inexperienced driver line-up and help the squad improve their car. Caterham made their F1 debut in 2010 under the Team Lotus banner along with Marussia – then known as Virgin Racing – and the now-defunct HRT as part of a trio of new teams. With limited time in which to develop their cars, all three were multiple seconds off the pace in their debut season. Three years on and little has changed. Caterham appeared to be on a much more solid footing in 2011 and 2012, and pundits viewed the green and gold racers as the newbies most likely to break into the midfield, but they have yet to score a point. Kovalainen was one of a number of experienced drivers left on the sidelines at the start of the 2013 season, with Caterham taking the decision to run rookie Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic at a time when teams are increasingly opting to choose drivers with significant personal sponsorship over those with experience as the cost of competing in Formula One remains forbiddingly high. Caterham started the year with a car that was only a small step for ward from last year’s machine, thanks to the difficulties of integrating the ideas of the 2013 design department with the work done by the previous technical group. And with the Leafield racers standing still, it was easy for the newly KERS-powered Marussia to steal a march on them at the first three races of the season. Kovalainen’s new reserve driver duties will see him behind the wheel of the CT03 in practice for the Spanish Grand Prix following his FP1 debut in Bahrain, where he helped the team hone the major upgrade package planned for the first European race of the season. “The first impression I had was that this car, which is obviously closer to the 2012 car than what will be raced for most of the rest of the season, is certainly trickier to find a balance on than the 2012 car, and the 2013 tyres go off a lot faster than last year’s,” Kovalainen said after his first taste of the 2013 car. “After one session I clearly haven’t had enough time in the car to find out how much we could change the handling with set-up alterations, but I’ve been able to give the team a lot of feedback that I think will be useful this weekend on set-up and tyres, and looking ahead to Spain where we’ll have more new parts.” According to the paddock rumour mill, Caterham performance director John Iley sees the Caterham ‘super- update’ planned for Barcelona as the first iteration of the CT03 that is entirely his, and not a hangover of the work done by ex-technical director Mike Gascoyne. 7 GPWEEK.com // 7 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: