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Caterham F1 Team



Caterham F1 Team Team

Leafield Technical Centre
OX29 9EF

Tel: +44 (0) 1993 871600

Official website:

2015 CAR

Caterham CT052021 launch: Click here for 2021 launch gallery


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2014 - number of wins:
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Age: 0

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Age: 0


Throughout 2011, Tony Fernandes and Group Lotus continued their fight over naming rights, and following a ruling in May that the Malaysian team could continue using the "Team Lotus" name and Team Lotus roundel, but could not use "Lotus" on its own. The ruling also confirmed Fernandes as the owner of the Team Lotus name, having bought the rights to the name from Hunt.

However, the court ruling stated that Group Lotus had sole right to use the name "Lotus" on its own, and could enter Formula One using "Lotus" for a team name, the black and gold livery, and the Lotus roundel.

In a further hearing in July, Justice Peter Smith expressed discontent towards Tony Fernandes and Team Lotus after they made no mention of the purchase of Caterham Cars during the initial hearings. Furthermore, Fernandes had claimed that Caterham would remain entirely separate from Team Lotus, but a promotional video for the company showed Fernandes wearing Team Lotus apparel. Justice Smith commented that had this material been submitted at the original hearing it would have had the potential to influence him enough to rule differently in May.

In the end it was all sorted out and in 2012 the Enstone team - formerly Toleman, Benetton, Renault and Lotus Renault GP - was to race as Lotus F1 Team, while Fernandes outfit would compete as Caterham F1 Team... sticking with the Lotus green and yellow livery.

In terms of drivers, Kovalainen and Trulli were both retained. While there was surprise that one of the bigger teams didn't snap up the Finn, there was an equal amount of incredulity that the Italian was being given another season.

The relationship with Renault and Red Bull continued, the world champions now supplying KERS also. This came on top of the recruitment of Renault's sporting director, Steve Nielsen, and McLaren aerodynamicist, John Iley.

Slowly but surely, Fernandes and his partners were assembling an impressive little squad in Norfolk however, it remained to be seen whether Caterham - nee Lotus Racing and Team Lotus - could take that next big step and take the fight to the likes of Williams and Toro Rosso.

On February 17, days ahead of the second pre-season test, the team announced that Vitaly Petrov had been recruited to replace Jarno Trulli and while the Anglo-Malaysian outfit thanks the Italian for his contribution to the team one couldn't help it was the Russian's contribution - in terms of sponsorship - that mattered more.

Initially slow, the Caterham CT01 gradually began to pick up pace only to ease off again. Although at times the team appeared to be closing the gap to the back of the midfield, until the closing stages of the season finale the team looked in danger of losing out in the standings to Marussia, a move that would have been financially very costly.

In Bahrain Kovalainen made it through to Q2, eliminating Michael Schumacher in the process, doing it again a few weeks later in Valencia.

While reliability was good - the team completing 93.9% of the laps that comprised the 2012 season - though this was compromised by Petrov's engine failure on the way to the grid at Silverstone, it wasn't enough to seriously allow the team to challenge for points. Indeed, had it not been for KERS the team might have struggled even more.

While Kovalainen dominated on Saturdays, out-qualifying Petrov 13-7, generally it was the Russian who performed better in the races ultimately saving the team's bacon by bringing his car home eleventh in Brazil and thereby allowing Caterham to leapfrog Marussia in the Constructors' Championship.

That said, Kovalainen's consistency was amazing, the Finn enjoying a string of 19 races in which he finished - albeit with no points. On the other hand, once it was clear that there was little on offer for 2013 - hard to believe when one considers that at one stage he was being touted as a replacement for Massa - his head dropped.

In late November it was announced that Charles Pic had signed a multi-year contract with the Anglo-Malaysian team however, it was not until 1 February, four days ahead of the launch of its contender that Giedo Van der Garde was named as the team's second driver.

Speaking at the launch, Tony Fernandes, whilst admitting that his team, like its rivals, already had an eye on 2014, hoped that the CT03 would offer the team "a chance of continuing to make progress towards the teams ahead".

"We will bring updates to the car after several races," he promised, "and I am happy that the plan we have for 2013 will give us the chance to fight this year, but, importantly, will allow us to take full advantage of the new rules in 2014."

However, perhaps the key lay in his next comment: "Having stepped up to the role of Co-Chairman of Caterham Group I will be playing less of a day-to-day role with the team but I am delighted that we go into our fourth season in such a strong position," he said. "Caterham Group continues to grow and since launching our partnership with Renault in November we have started work on the new Alpine and Caterham Cars products which is obviously very exciting. Caterham Composites and Caterham Technology & Innovation are also forging ahead with a number of very interesting projects, some of which will be unveiled throughout 2013."

As some point to McLaren, suggesting that its diversification into other areas has caused it to take its eye off the ball and therefore lose ground to the opposition, what of Caterham.

Fact is, not only did Caterham fail to make any progress it actually slipped back. Indeed, following the launch, other than news of his Commander of the Legion d'Honneur award little was heard of Fernandes in 2013 as he busied himself in various projects including the Asian version of The Apprentice.

As for the CT03, the most excitement it caused in 2013 was during pre-season testing when Lotus technical director James Allison claimed that the car's exhaust outlet contravened Article 5.8.4 of the technical regulations, which prohibit the use of bodywork within a defined area with respect to the exhaust outlet. The FIA subsequently agreed and deemed the system to be illegal.

Climbing out of the car following FP1 at Bahrain, test and reserve driver Kovalainen, who had been hurriedly brought back in to the team at the expense of Ma Qinghua, stated the CT03 was essentially the previous year's car with nothing done to it. Ahead of the next race (Spain) the team introduced a major upgrade of the car but to little effect.

To put it simply, the team's best qualifying performance was in Belgium where Van der Garde, having got through to Q2, put the car 14th on the grid - a best ever for the team - while the best race result was the brace of 14ths from Charles in Malaysia and Korea and another for Van der Garde in Hungary.

However, Jules Bianchi's 13th in Malaysia was enough to see Marussia claim the all-important tenth place in the final standings and Caterham slip to eleventh.

Over the course of the season Van der Garde came in for a certain amount of stick, particularly in the Pitpass podcasts, and while Pic, clearly had the edge, even Sebastian Vettel would have been hard pushed to extract much more from the car.

On 21 January, following days of speculation, the team announced that its line-up would comprise Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson, with Robert Frijns joining Alexander Rossi as test and reserve driver. All four drivers, to some extent or another, paying for the privilege.

After announcing the line-up Tony Fernandes warned that unless the team took a major step forward in 2014 he would seriously consider walking away. One felt tempted to tell him that a crystal ball was hardly required and that, with no disrespect to either Kobayashi or Ericsson, nothing we had seen or heard suggested that 2014 would be any different for the Leafield-based outfit.

From the outset it was clear that Caterham was in for a dire season, though we didn't know how dire. Like the rest of the Renault runners the team struggled in pre-season testing, though things had improved slightly by the time of the season opener.

Once again, the team found itself squabbling at the back of the pack with Marussia, with Lotus and Sauber keeping them company from time to time.

In Monaco however, things changed. Jules Bianchi finished ninth, thereby giving Marussia its first points and handing Caterham the unenviable record of being the team to have contested the most races in F1 history without scoring a point.

Caterham's downfall began at the end of June when Fernandes, true to his word (!), decided to sell up to Engavest SA, a consortium of investors led by Swiss consultant Stefan Gyseler. Dutch former F1 driver Christian Albers was installed as team principal whilst motorsport boss Colin Kolles became an adviser. A series of cost cuts soon led to more than 40 staff members being dropped from the team but that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Until September Caterham Sports, the company which designed and built its F1 cars, was owned by the team's Malaysia-based parent 1MRT. However, a couple of months after 1MRT was sold to Engavest it decided to sell Caterham Sports to former professional footabller Constantin Cojocar for just 1.

It soon came to light that although the Caterham Sports sale had gone through, 1MRT had not actually been sold so although Engavest had taken control of the Malaysian company, it did not own shares in it. Bills were left unpaid in this vacuum and, crucially, one of them was the fee to Caterham Sports for providing its services.

In turn Caterham Sports could not pay its bills and bailiffs were called in to its factory in Oxfordshire. With insufficient revenue coming in Cojocar decided to put Caterham Sports into administration and 1MRT soon followed it into the hands of the administrators Smith & Williamson. There were yet more layoffs including Albers who relinquished the driving seat to Italian Manfredi Ravetto in September. He too didn't last long and was replaced by Smith & Williamson partner Finbarr O'Connell at the last race in Abu Dhabi which Caterham was only able to attend after raising 2.4m through crowd-funding.

In the midst of all this, Kobayashi was dropped for the Belgian Grand Prix, his seat given to former Jaguar test driver Andre Lotterer, who retired after just one lap. Subsequently, it was revealed that Rubens Barrichello had previously been offered Kobayashi's seat for the final races of the season, while Ericsson ended his contract with the team.

The crowd funding move a success, Kobayashi was joined in Abu Dhabi by Will Stevens. The Japanese retired after 42 laps whilst the Briton made it to the end following a strong performance under very difficult circumstances.

In the midst of all this, over 300 employers lost their jobs at Caterham and a number of them contacted Pitpass, most of them pointing the finger of blame at the previous owner.

Whilst one has sympathy for all three teams that entered F1 in 2010, enticed by the promise of a budget cap that would level the playing field, little of that sympathy goes to Mr Fernandes, a man who clearly enjoyed his initial time in the spotlight before growing tired of the whole thing. For such a successful business man he showed surprising naivety in his time in the F1 paddock.

As the new year approaches, the administrators continue their search for a buyer.


Team Advisor: Colin Kolles

Team Manager: Christijan Albers

Assistant Team Manager: Manfredi Ravetto

Head of Performance Engineering: John Iley

Head of Design & Manufacturing: Jody Egginton

Head of Track Operations: Gerry Hughes

Head of R&D: Elliot Dason-Barber

Head of Aerodynamics: Hari Roberts

Head of Vehicle Dynamics: Juan Pablo Ramirez

Team Manager: Graham Watson

Race Engineer (Kobayashi): Angel Baena
Performance Engineer (Kobayashi): Nicola Palarchi
Engine Engineer (Kobayashi): Nicolas Espesson
No 1 Mechanic (Kobayashi): Chris Bethell

Race Engineer (Ericsson): Tim Wright
Performance Engineer (Ericsson): Yoshihiro Iwashita
Engine Engineer (Ericsson): Cedrik Staudohar
No 1 Mechanic (Ericsson): Charlie Haggstam

Chief Mechanic: Stuart Cramp

Head of Communications: Tom Webb

Content Manager: Sarah Dryhurst

Digital Marketing Manager: Steven English

Director of Partner Services: Quentin Warren

Head of Events and Hospitality: Cyril Francis

Brand Manager: Christian Clogger

Graphic Designer: Greg Auchterlonie



Chassis material: Carbon Fibre, mostly epoxy resin

Bodywork material: Carbon Fibre, mostly epoxy resin

Front Suspension: Twin non-parallel wishbone, Pullrod actuated

Rear Suspension: Twin non-parallel wishbone, Pullrod actuated

Dampers: Caterham, Penske Racing Shocks

Steering: Caterham

Gearbox: Red Bull Technology

ClutchL AP Racing

Discs: Various (Carbon-Carbon)

Calipers: Brembo

Pads: Various (Carbon-Carbon)

Cooling system: Caterham - Aluminium Alloy Fabrication

Exhaust: Caterham - Inconel Alloy Fabrication

Cockpit instrumentation: Various

Car to team radio transmission: Riedel

Telemetry: McLaren Electronics

Seat belts: Schroth Racing

Wteering wheel: Caterham

Driver's seat: Caterham - Carbon fibre shell

Extinguisher system: Caterham

Rims: OZ - Magnesium alloy

Fuel cell: Caterham & ATL

Fuel provider: Total

Lubricants provider: Elf

Front track: 1800mm (max)
Rear track: 1800mm (max)
Wheel base: More than 3000mm
Overall Length: More than 5000mm
Overall Height: 950mm

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