Kovalainen debuts Caterham CT-01

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Heikki Kovalainen was the first today to get behind the steering wheel of the new Caterham car. Today also marked the first moment the car was unveiled in real life, after the team chose to release only renderings at the official launch.

Heikki Kovalainen:
“It’s good to be back at work after the winter break and great to see how up for the season ahead the whole team are. We were first out on track this morning and the early feeling I had from the car was good. It’s far too early to tell how much we’ve progressed but it already feels like we’re going in the right direction. We obviously didn’t want to end early today but we couldn’t sort out the starter shaft issue in time to get back on track, but I’m reasonably pleased with what we have achieved today and I know the team will put in the work tonight to get us back out on track tomorrow and pick up where we left off today.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer:
“It is always a good feeling to see the new car out on track for the first time after all the hours everybody in the team has put in over the last few months to get us to this point. We had to bring day one to an early end after damage to the starter shaft meant we were unable to start the engine which is a shame because it was an unusual issue and we had enjoyed a positive morning, working through the usual day one system checks and running without any reliability issues on the car until that point. Heikki’s early feedback on the car is good and there is plenty to come from this car so we are looking forward to a positive next three days in Jerez.”

Riad Asmat, Caterham Group CEO:
“First I want to thank everybody back at the factory and here in Jerez for the incredibly hard work they have all put in to help produce the first Caterham F1 car. We passed our crash tests early, we were first on track today and it is a sign of how far we have come in just two seasons that we can turn up with our new car at the first test and run from the moment the lights go green. The fact we had an issue that brought the day to a premature conclusion is something we will look into – we have not had that problem before and totally unexpected issues are always one of the risks with a new car, but we will fix that and progress tomorrow.“

Driver: Heikki Kovalainen
Chassis: CT01-#2
Total laps: 28
Best lap: 1.23.178