Caterham CT01 images revealed early

2012 F1 cars

The first pictures of the Caterham CT01 have appeared ahead of its official publication tomorrow.

Images taken from the current issue of F1 Racing have been posted online.

Caterham later issued an official image of the new car. The CT01’s distinctive stepped nose is a consequence of new rules aimed at lowering the noses of the cars.

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235 comments on Caterham CT01 images revealed early

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  1. Yikes!! Thats one odd looking nose!

  2. And people are saying the new IndyCar chassis looks odd.

    This just looks awful.

  3. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th January 2012, 10:56

    Oh, look. It’s vomit-green. Coincidence?

  4. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 25th January 2012, 10:57


  5. DGB123 (@dgb123) said on 25th January 2012, 10:57

    I think I just got sick in my mouth!!!!

  6. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 25th January 2012, 10:57

    Mutated whale from Mars. And looks like render (again).

  7. on second thoughts, i kinda like it.. it’s distinctive

  8. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th January 2012, 10:58

    I have a theory about the sheer ugliness. Back when the regulations were announced, a lot of the teams complained that their cars were going to look ugly. They really just wanted the raised noses back because that would improve airflow over the spoiler, producing more downforce. This staggered nose is such an inelegant and basic design (the MP4-26 nose is a fine example of what they should be doing) that I can’t help but wonder if the teams are deliberately making ugly cars to try and get such an overwhelming reaction that the FIA relents and reverts the ruling.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 25th January 2012, 12:46

      It’s a nice theory, but the whole of the cars aerodynamics is designed by how the flow is effected by the nose and the front wing. There’s no way any team will want a change to the regulations until next season, and their not going to run an inefficient car for all the races just to get the FIA to change their minds.

      Personally, I have a problem with the regulatons that show a rectangular zone where no body work can be. Alll they had to do was make this zone trapezoidal, and these cars would both look alright, and also not pose a threat to the heads of other racers. This is the FIA we are talking about though.

    • realracer (@realracer) said on 25th January 2012, 12:55

      Deliberately making ugly cars?
      I’m sure glad your not an F1 car designer, you’d make the likes of Ferrari and McLaren go into administration.
      “Oooh lets invest hundreds of millions of pounds, and put our blood sweat and tears into making an ugly car, so the FIA can let us make a nice looking one,were not here to compete, no not at all”
      Sheer Stupidity on your part @PM

    • Solo (@solo) said on 25th January 2012, 19:29

      The only thing sillier in this article than that nose, is this idea you just posted.

  9. galzo33 (@galzo33) said on 25th January 2012, 10:59

    Ugly looking car. one questioin why are the noses that low

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th January 2012, 11:03

      Because the FIA wants to clamp down on high noses. They’ve been getting higher and higher for the past two years, and the FIA is concerned that in the event of a head-on collision – not unlike the Liuzzi-Schumacher crash in Abu Dhabi back in 2010 – the nose of one car could pick up on top of the other, there were would be little to stop the driver from receiving a Formula 1 car to the face. No doubt they intended that the 2012 cars would look more like last year’s McLaren, but because of the wording of the 2012 rules, only everything forward of the bulkhead (the point along the front axle) needs to be 55cm. Everything behind it can be 62.5cm, and so Caterham have clearly gone in for this split-level nose.

      • galzo33 (@galzo33) said on 25th January 2012, 11:04

        ok thanks

      • I believed it was more to do with counteracting any lift generated when a high nose hit a wheel (like webber vs kovalainen at valencia ’10) – although there were probably several factors

        • Scootin159 said on 25th January 2012, 15:03

          Any nose->wheel contact will involve one of the cars getting airborne – even worse if the front wheel makes contact to a rear wheel. This isn’t an issue unique to F1, but rather any form of open wheel racing (everything from your local kart races to Dan Wheldon’s crash last year).

          • N7 (@m77) said on 26th January 2012, 8:34

            the nose height will accentuate the problem. that post wasn’t just my speculation, there was fact behind it – for backup, this is a quote from mike gascoyne yesterday: “They want to limit the heights of noses for the shunts when a car hits another car’s tyre and (risks) taking off.” [from bbc f1 website]

      • matthewf1 (@) said on 25th January 2012, 11:14

        So do the regs allow for a slope to merge these two heights, or does there need to be an immediate change in height, like Caterham have gone for?

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th January 2012, 11:22

          @matthewf1 – The regulations do allow for a slope, provided that the point over the front bulkhead is no more than 55cm above ground. I think this is what the FIA intended all along, and to my mind it would be the best solution because the Caterham design has a 7.5cm step in the middle of the nose. That can’t be particularly efficient aerodynamically.

          • matthewf1 (@) said on 25th January 2012, 11:26


          • Sangeen Khan said on 25th January 2012, 12:39

            Actually,I think the V shape makes up most of the 7.5 cm difference.Along the middle,its not that much.

          • Adam (@adamdaly82) said on 25th January 2012, 13:32

            You should really get on the phone to Caterham then to let them know that their months of wind tunnel analysis and cfd have been wrong.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 25th January 2012, 23:24

            @adam PM is provided a detailed opinion on the technical aspects of the car. This is interesting.

            What have you provided?

            Also, on topic.
            @Prisoner Monkeys
            I think there must be a reason that the step costs less than the gain it provides. I suspect it will be controlling airflow around the side of the drivers head. But I suspect scarbs would have a more examiined opinion.

            For me, I’m most interested in the back of the car, which for the most part is blacked out. It is possible to see where the suspension struts are headed and to be honest, it looks rather simple.

            I suppose from Caterham a rather conservative approach is to be expected.

          • Adam (@adamdaly82) said on 25th January 2012, 23:43

            @Mike I would much rather trust Caterham, their team of engineers and the 6 months of design and development that has gone into this car. Opinions are great but there are too many internet hacks about who think they know best.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 26th January 2012, 15:00


            I honestly can’t see your problem.

            More interpretations of the technical aspects can’t be a bad thing.

            And exactly what part of his comment do you think was wrong? I think you’d be crazy if you said the step (in itself) was aerodynamically efficient. However, there must be, as you suggested, a reason the Caterham designers have done this. Prisoner monkeys comment creates a chance for us to speculate as to why!

            Personally, I’m fairly sure in my mind that it’s to allow maximum airflow under the car, this increases the speed at which the air flows and thus, should lower the pressure under the car and increase the cars overall down force.

            What do you think? or have you read any interesting ideas about it?

          • Adam (@adamdaly82) said on 26th January 2012, 20:32

            @Mike Nothing wrong with opinions or theories. The more the better. What I didn’t like though was the assertion that he knew better than the Caterham designers.

            Nobody likes the look of the new nose but there is obviously a reason for it. To me, a more gradual slope to the tip of the nose would provide a better airflow over the top of the car but my degree is not in aeronautical engineering so I am happy to bow to the experts greater knowledge.

  10. they wont get much prettier…

  11. Banburyhammer1 said on 25th January 2012, 10:59

    Has the car beeen in a punch up or something?

  12. Tommo N7 (@tommothfc) said on 25th January 2012, 11:00

    Nosecone is disgusting! Seems the the equivalent of a human having a broken nose.

  13. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 25th January 2012, 11:00

    If you want to have a controlled launch, maybe you shouldn’t be committing pictures to paper…

    About the car, I’m obviously intrigued by the nose and I wonder if this is what Ferrari calls ugly

  14. Shimks (@shimks) said on 25th January 2012, 11:01


    Isn’t it the general consensus that because of the rules changes, all cars are going to look a little less pretty compared to 2011?

  15. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 25th January 2012, 11:03

    Shocking at first but I’m pretty sure most of the cars will have noses like that. We’ll get used to it, just like we did with every other regulation change that apparently made the cars ‘ugly’.

    • Yack! I did like the 09 BMW so I should like a more straight shape but with the shade of green and yellow it just looks ghastly and something Lego could have designed.

    • yep exactly..with the regulations I kind of expected this nose for some time now so no suprise. I dont know how others haven’t expected to see a nose like this.its ugly but I think most teams wil have something similar. We are all probaly going to have to get used to seeing our favourite team our drivers car noses look like this.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 25th January 2012, 13:53

        Did you expect it? A few people are saying that now but I didn’t read one prediction on this site about it before.

        • Scarbs had some sketchs up..and the ferrari renderings sported a similar nose. Doesn’t mean that if it wasn’t on this paricular site it didn’t happen. Come to think about it keith had the link to scarbs with regards to this years design trends on one of his round ups in the past couple of days.

  16. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th January 2012, 11:04

    It’s not actually that bad … from the front.

  17. if we ignore the nose.. the rest of the car is quite nice! green.. but nice

  18. barkun (@barkun) said on 25th January 2012, 11:08

    oh my !!
    Caterham what have you done !!!

    That nose cone seems to be ‘pasted’ on it from a different car

  19. sam3110 (@sam3110) said on 25th January 2012, 11:09

    Reading between the lines in various leaks etc. it would appear that Ferrari haven’t staggered it as much as this, but the lines of the nose and cockpit will be smoother, with the humps on either side.

  20. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 25th January 2012, 11:09

    Ok, if you ignore the nose, it’s actually not a bad looking thing. Loving the very tiny sidepods.

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