Caterham F1 Team
Andre Lotterer will make his Formula 1 debut at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, the Caterham team has confirmed. Lotterer
Modern cars are full of technology, electric motors, and active and passive safety equipment, all of which add weight. Even the miles of wiring they need to work all of this piles on the pounds. Then there's the extra strengthening necessary for the chassis of these mighty performance cars, the bigger wheels and the beefier brakes - everything adds mass.
The little details that go on during a race, like the use of team orders, mostly go unnoticed by the fans as there is no way of interpreting tactics, like telling a driver to push or go easy, without knowing the context of what the team's actual race plan is.
I am very happy to report that both our newbies have done just that, and we now head to Melbourne in as good a shape as we could be for this stage of the season. While the work has been going on in Spain, everyone back at the factory has also been pushing as hard as they can to prepare for the season ahead.
I'm at 36,000 ft and on the way home after the first F1 test of the 2013 season in Jerez, Spain. The tests are a crucial part of the year, giving the teams the chance to iron out all the technical issues that may befall their cars before the season starts in Melbourne in mid-March.
This is an incredibly intense week leading up to the first test when the 2013 race car finally takes shape. The chassis is built, checked and painted and then the tens of thousands of parts that make up a modern F1 car are fitted to the chassis, all under a stopwatch that is counting down until the moment the car has to leave our factory.
Just over six weeks ago I was in Brazil, at the final race of the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship. For fans that was the end of their F1 year. The end of the Brazilian GP was their signal that there would be no more F1 until February, but for the teams it's a very different story.