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Caterham impressed with best first test

The Caterham F1 team heads for Barcelona buoyed by what it describes as the best first test of its short three-year history in the top flight.

Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne insists that there is more to come from the first caterham F1 car after a low-key debut for the CT01 at Jerez.

Although the team was first to reveal its 2012 challenger - setting the scene for the new 'platypus nose' design trend - and the first to hit the track on Tuesday, courtesy of Heikki Kovalainen's sighter lap, it remained towards the bottom of the timesheets throughout the four-day session.

For Gascoyne, however, that was no reason for concern.

“I think we can be very pleased with how the first test has gone," he claimed after four days of largely trouble-free running that set the week apart from previous first tests in the guise of Team Lotus, "Apart from an issue with the starter on day one, the car ran absolutely faultlessly throughout the whole test, which is a real tribute to the work put in by the whole team.

"We completed the whole test programme, working with KERS for the first time and, for me, this has probably been the best first test I have ever been involved in throughout my career."

With the introduction of KERS after two years of being handicapped by its absence, it was important for the team to learn about the system, as well as trying to gather data on other areas of the all-new car. Gascoyne insisted that few risks had been taken during the session, but promised that there would be more to come in the remaining brace of tests in Barcelona.

“We have been running the car rather conservatively in Jerez but, for the next test, we will be bringing aero updates and looking to run the final race one specification at the third test," he revealed, "Overall, we are in a much better position going into the season than we have ever been before, so that is the first goal achieved.”

Kovalainen was followed in the cockpit by new reserve Giedo van der Garde, with veteran team-mate Jarno Trulli taking over for the fourth and final day. And, after putting another 117 laps on the car, the Italian shared some of Gascoyne's enthusiasm.

“My first impression of the car was that it is good – a definite progression from 2011 and a good basis for us to work on for the season ahead," he reported, "Its reliability has been demonstrated all week here in Jerez and we have generated a lot of data, particularly on KERS and the 2012 tyres, which will help us improve set-ups for the next couple of tests.

“We know there's a lot more to come in pure pace – perhaps we were the only team to run without dropping the fuel - but we wanted to focus on running through the development programme and making sure we completed the plan each day."





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
10.02.2012 Jerez, Spain, Jarno Trulli (ITA), Caterham Team   - Formula 1 Testing, day 1 - Formula 1 World Championship
09.02.2012 Jerez, Spain, Caterham F1 Team  - Formula 1 Testing, day 1 - Formula 1 World Championship
10.02.2012 Jerez, Spain, Jarno Trulli (ITA), Caterham Team   - Formula 1 Testing, day 1 - Formula 1 World Championship
07.02.2012 Jerez, Spain, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Caterham F1 Team   - Formula 1 Testing, day 1 - Formula 1 World Championship
07.02.2012 Jerez, Spain, Mike Gascoyne (GBR), Caterham Team and Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Caterham F1 Team   - Formula 1 Testing, day 1 - Formula 1 World Championship
08.02.2012 Jerez, Spain, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Caterham F1 Team  - Formula 1 Testing, day 1 - Formula 1 World Championship
24.08.2014- Race, Andre Lotterer (GER), Caterham F1 Team
24.08.2014- Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Caterham F1 Team CT-04
24.08.2014-Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 and Andre Lotterer (GER), Caterham F1 Team
24.08.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 and Andre Lotterer (GER), Caterham F1 Team
24.08.2014- Race, Andre Lotterer (GER), Caterham F1 Team
24.08.2014- Andre Lotterer (GER), Caterham F1 Team
24.08.2014- Max Chilton (GBR), Marussia F1 Team MR03, Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Caterham F1 Team CT-04
23.08.2014- Qualifying, Andre Lotterer (GER), Caterham F1 Team
23.08.2014- Qualifying, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Caterham F1 Team CT-04
23.08.2014- Free Practice 3, Andre Lotterer (GER), Caterham F1 Team
23.08.2014- Free Practice 3, Andre Lotterer (GER), Caterham F1 Team
23.08.2014- Free Practice 3, Andre Lotterer (GER), Caterham F1 Team

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UncleSam

February 11, 2012 4:16 PM

I, for one, hope that they can progress into the midfield. It would be good for the sport to have a newer team actually make progress. They are at least making an effort to improve by bringing in better personnel and partnering with bigger teams to develop the car. The other new teams are complete rubbish and are only putting forth a minimal effort, hardly worthy of even participating at this level. I think all the negative posts would be better served on a HRT or Marussia/Virgin thread, but they didn't even have cars to test now did they?

SPF1 - Unregistered

February 11, 2012 4:48 PM

Hilarious how all these "experts" are second-guessing testing times and coming up with so much rubbish about Gascoyne - I agree that this year is probably a make-or-break for him, but let's wait and see how the car performs when the serious stuff starts. Remember who was posting fastest times last year? Willams - and look at their race performance. Fast times in testing mean nothing, and, in fact, can give other teams an insight into a car's true performance.



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