JEREZ, Spain, Feb 5, 2013 (AFP) - The Caterham F1 racing team unveiled their new car for the 2013 season on the first day of pre-season testing in Jerez on Tuesday, alongside new drivers Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde.
"CT03 is the first car we have produced in the (Oxfordshire-based) Leafield Technical Centre so it marks an important milestone in the development of our team," said technical director Mark Smith.
The nascent British-based, Malaysian-owned outfit, which entered Formula One as Team Lotus in 2010 before being rebranded last term, have failed to register a single point in their three seasons, finishing 10th out of 12 manufacturers last year.
Financial hardship also led to the departure of experienced cockpit duo Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, both former Grand Prix winners, after last season with the relatively untested duo of Pic and Van der Garde stepping in as replacements.
Frenchman Pic, who turns 23 later this month, impressed in his rookie campaign last year with back-of-the-grid rivals Marussia, while longtime Dutch test driver Van der Garde, 27, will be in his first season.
Smith revealed the Renault-powered CT03 model, an evolution of last year's CT01, featured notable changes to the lower chassis, diffuser, engine cover and cooling exits.
With the sport set for drastic rule changes next year to make Formula One more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, Smith admitted any further adjustments made to the car would would be done with both the 2013 and 2014 seasons in mind.
"Regardless of the resources and budget available, all the teams will be racing in 2013 with one eye on next year when the new rules may present opportunities to make significant gains, much greater than those available under static rules."
Caterham also have a new team principal in Frenchman Cyril Abiteboul, who replaced founder and Queens Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes following the 2012 campaign.
"While we are realistic enough to know that we are not going to be the fastest car on the grid, we do think we will have one of the best looking cars in 2013. I will be working so that one day we have both," said the 35-year-old Abiteboul, F1's youngest team principal.