Chassis CT05#1

Chassis#1 was the first 2014 Caterham CT05 to be built and driven.

I watched its debut at a very cold Jerez circuit on the 28th of January 2014. The team were up against tight timelines as although the main monocoque had been built on time (I had seen it on the 6th December 2013 on a factory visit), the cash flow issues had led to delays in parts being supplied plus a few delays in receiving the new Renault Hybrid power unit had led to what was believed to be a straight forward January being a hectic one for the Caterham F1 team.

Picture: Octane Photographic

The Chassis #1 History

The first lap of Chassis number 1 (#1) took place in Jerez on the 28th of January 2014. I was there and it was a very cold day. I had waited almost all day for the car to appear and eventually it did at around 3.18pm local time. Below is an image I took of that first lap, whilst I stood on the last bend of the circuit.

The Team then went on to carry out further testing on the second day of testing with Marcus Ericsson where I managed to get on the press side of the fence at the first bend and caught many images such as these below

The team then ran Robin Frijns in the car on the third day and experienced Kamui Kobayashi on the last day, or Test 01 for 2014. Kamui managed over 50 laps on the last day which was outstanding, especially when you consider that the Renault performance was so poor at the test Caterham did more laps than Red Bull. Below is an image I took of Robin Frijns from the roof of the pit complex on day three.

After the initial Jerez F1 pre-season test, chassis#1 was sent back to the factory for final preparation for the 2014 season before being sent to Australia as Marcus Ericssons car. 

Marcus arrived in Melbourne and couldn't wait to take a photo of his first ever Grand Prix car (Chassis#1)

Photographer: Unknown

Marcus retired in his first race however continued driving Chassis #1 for the next race in Malaysia where Matt Smith from the team captured this rare photograph showing all three Caterham CT05's together in the pit. This is a very rare image as the "spare" chassis for a race is usually in the back of the transporter and in this case the spare (Chassis#2) was being prepared, just in case it was needed.

The car reached the teams highest position since Petrov scored an 11th place in Brazil 2012 by equalling that in Monaco and ending only 2.4 seconds off of a Championship point. Below is the set up used on Chassis#1

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The car went on to compete in Canada and Silverstone where I watched it on both race weekend and then at the young Driver test that followed. Driving were Will Stevens on day 1 and Julian Leal on Day 2. Below are some images I took of Will and the comparison lap the team took when comparing Leal and Kobayashi, whose data came from the GP weekend.

The car was then used at the German Grand Prix by Marcus and the following race in Hungary was its last. Marcus hit a damp patch on the outside of turn three in Hungary on lap 7 and then hit the wall. The crash was high impact and smashed the carbon wishbones off into the monocoque. Something that I had to have repaired later but the below image from James Moy shows the accident.

Photograph : James Moy

The team brought the car back and photographed the damaged car.

The car was then taken back to Leafield whilst the Summer break took place and the team appeared in Spa with a new Chassis which was badged as Chassis#4. As there were ongoing cash issues the team stripped Chassis#1 of everything it could, including the Chassis plate which was adapted to show the number 4 instead of #1. The tub then sat in a corner of the Leafield factory and was going to be thrown in the skip by one employee.

Luckily it was placed in the second Administration auction as lot 4007 and described as perfect for a simulator.

I spent three days prior to the auction planning my approach and then got in to a bidding war on the chassis which ended up with me winning. One of the best moments of my life, and then came the reality of it as I believed it to be Chassis number 3 at the time, which I had seen tested in Spain. However, after getting the tub home and inspecting it closely it was obvious that this was Marcus Ericssons car that had competed in 11 Grand Prixs and that I had seen in the factory, Jerez, Spain and Silverstone the year before.

I took the above image when I collected the car in May 2015. After an initial battle to find the correct engine cover and floor I managed to get all the pieces together on my garage floor before the rebuild began.

CT05#1 - Chassis Log

  • Jerez - Pre-season Test. Driven by: Marcus Ericsson, Robin Frijns, Kamui Kobayashi
  • Australian GP - Marcus Ericsson
  • Malaysian GP - Marcus Ericsson
  • Bahrain GP - Marcus Ericsson
  • Chinese GP, Marcus Ericsson
  • Spanish GP - Marcus Ericsson
  • Monaco GP - Marcus Ericsson
  • Canadian GP - Marcus Ericsson
  • Austrian GP - Marcus Ericsson
  • British GP - Marcus Ericsson
  • T04 - Will Stevens, Julian Leal
  • German GP - Marcus Ericsson
  • Hungarian GP - Marcus Ericsson