Caterham remove dubious exhaust

Caterham has followed Williams’ lead by removing a dubious solution for its Coanda-effect exhaust from its 2013 car.

Williams tweaked the specification of its FW35 as last week’s testing concluded, and on Thursday – as the final days of running in Barcelona began – it was clear Caterham was also now fielding a more conventional design.

In the green car, Frenchman Charles Pic ended Thursday’s running a half-second behind the Marussia.

In Speed Week, technical expert Gary Anderson said the black and red Lotus is offering drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean “outstanding” traction.

“In that respect,” he said, “the Caterham is the opposite of a Lotus.”

Source:GMM

Winter leaves F1 ‘unprepared’ for 2013 season

The F1 world was ruing the cold and wet Barcelona weather on Thursday, as the last days of pre-season testing began a fortnight ahead of the 2013 season opener.

“I do wonder why we come here to test every winter,” Pirelli’s Paul Hembery is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“In the past we have talked about going to Bahrain. Maybe that makes more sense,” he said.

With more bad weather forecast, Hembery’s frustration was widespread in the paddock.

“Teams have never gone into a new season so unprepared,” said Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt.

Agreed Sauber designer Matt Morris: “It’s virtually impossible to size up the opposition.”

One reporter told team newcomer Sergio Perez he seems “nervous” about a lack of dry running and understanding of the new McLaren.

“I wouldn’t say nervous,” he insisted, “I’m just a little disappointed I didn’t get more time on a dry track before we go to Melbourne.

“We’re not fully prepared for the first race,” the Mexican admitted to O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, “but I’m sure everyone in the paddock is in the same condition.”

Ferrari’s Massa added: “It’s what we have, these are the rules — what can we do? We have to make the most of it.”

Mark Webber was fastest at the end of day one in Barcelona, and he said Red Bull’s weather forecast is for better conditions on Sunday.

“But still nothing like Melbourne,” said the Australian, “and not much like the conditions we will get at most other races.”

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa thinks it will be clear “a lot of teams are competitive” once the season finally kicks off.

“The Red Bull is definitely a very good car,” he said. “Also the Lotus and McLaren. A podium in Australia would be fantastic,” the Brazilian added.

Source:GMM

Mercedes better than McLaren for driver ‘focus’ – Hamilton

Mercedes is better than McLaren at putting “the focus on the driver”, Lewis Hamilton has claimed after moving teams for the first time after six years in formula one.

It is believed one of the reasons the 2008 world champion decided to leave McLaren is because Mercedes was offering a lighter deal in terms of the team’s non-driving expectations.

“We still have sponsors, sponsors’ appearances and filming days,” he told reporters at the final Barcelona test on Thursday.

“There is not a huge difference. (Just that) the focus is on the driver, the driver’s performance, the driver being ready for the job at hand.

“That’s one thing I’m noticing is a little bit better here,” added Hamilton.

Source:GMM