Caterham reveals launch date, plans to attend all three winter tests

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The team now known as Lotus has backed out of the first Formula One test this year. The team formerly known as Lotus, now Caterham, has not.

The Leafield-based squad confirmed it will run at all three tests, Jerez and both in Bahrain, which is an excellent sign. The team will launch its new car on January 28, the first day at Jerez. Mercedes also launches its car that day; McLaren announced an online-only launch for Jan. 24 on Tuesday.

Caterham also remains the most intriguing team on the driver lineup front, as the only squad yet to confirm a single driver for 2014. A report on the official Formula One website lists the team’s 2013 drivers Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde, along with Heikki Kovalainen, Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson as contenders for the seats. That more or less confirms rumors over the last month or so. Caterham reserve driver Alexander Rossi will be in Daytona for the Rolex 24 on Jan. 25-26, racing the DeltaWing.

You figure we may get one or perhaps both driver announcements before the Jerez test, which runs Jan. 28-31. Bahrain’s pair of four-day tests are Feb. 19-22 and Feb. 27-March 2.

After finishing 10th in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Caterham fell to 11th in this year’s Constructor’s Championship behind fellow tail-ender Marussia.

Ferrari signs Callum Ilott to young driver academy

Ferrari
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Ferrari has confirmed the signing of rising British racer Callum Ilott to its prestigious driver academy ahead of the 2018 season.

Ilott, 18, is a former member of Red Bull’s junior program, and has spent the last three years racing in the FIA European Formula 3 series, taking eight race wins.

After finishing the 2017 season fourth in the championship with Prema Powerteam, Ilott has now linked up with the Ferrari Driver Academy in the next step of his racing career, becoming its first British member.

“Ferrari Driver Academy is pleased to announce that British driver Callum Ilott is the latest promising young driver to be selected for its development program,” an announcement from Ferrari reads.

“18 years old, Ilott joins the FDA in his third season in car racing, having just finished the FIA F3 European Championship. He comes with a strong pedigree in international Formula 3 racing, having made the jump directly from karting as reigning European Champion.

“Ilott joins Charles Leclerc, Antonio Fuoco, Guan Yu Zhou, Giuliano Alesi, Marcus Armstrong and Enzo Fittipaldi in the programme, which supports talented young drivers on their career path in motorsport.”

Besides its existing roster, the Ferrari Driver Academy also played a part in the careers of Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and the late Jules Bianchi.