Caterham CT01

Caterham CT01 images revealed early

2012 F1 carsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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.

More information on the 2012 F1 season.

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235 comments on “Caterham CT01 images revealed early”

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  1. Yikes!! Thats one odd looking nose!

        1. See, there’s a Simpsons quote for every situation. It’s pretty much all you need in life, especially if you work at an IT desk.

          1. couldn’t agree more!

    1. It’s the ugliest F1 car nose, I’ve ever seen. Will see, if others can beat Caterham in this category.

      1. It’s not exactly a looker thats for sure. But to be honest I couldn’t care less, I just hope its quick. Caterham are easily my favourite new team, I think they’ve done a great job so far starting from scratch.

        It will be interesting to see if Mclaren, Ferrari, RBR are able to implement the new regulations without having to adopt such a radicle step on the nose. Other F1 forums have been debating whether the MP4-26 and F150 would almost meet the 2012 nose specs already, so hopefully they won’t have to change too much.

        1. that walrus nose was quite cool, this is hideous! Reminds me of an old Fiat Multipla…

    2. It looks like it was beaten in with a hammer.

      1. It looks more like Johnny Vegas sat down on the nose!

      2. i think a nose job is in order!

    3. I think I’ve only ever seen one F1 nose that was uglier.

      1. Haha! Classic.

      2. @ajokay I knew it was going to be Prost!

        1. keith, have you posted the car’s unveil dates yet?

          1. He did recently in this article.

            Some are still unknown.

      3. that was a good one, i was expecting it, but very good nevertheless.
        You have to agree that that was one of the fastest as well.

        1. LOL @ Prost comparrison.

          It is one FUGLY nose. Almost as bad as mine…

        2. A World Championship-winning nose too, unlike what Caterham is likely to be!

    4. My eyes…
      When they first said the front noses were going to be lower in 2012 I expected/wanted something like this
      Why can’t they have them even lower and have a smooth decrease in height instead of a sudden 7.5cm drop?

      1. exactly.

        Looking at the new CT01 i dont think the new regulations have solved the safety issue at all. I was expecting something like the Brawn nose. Something that would prevent the cars from launching (webber in valencia) or hitting the driver in the head with a sideways collision.

        I hope this is a one off, and the rest of the teams come up with something more natural.

        1. But it did solve the safety issue. The nose is now lower than the cockpit sides.

          and even a Brawn type nose wouldn’t prevent the car from taking off.

      2. @Pato Milan

        I wanted something like that too, but after reading Scarabs interpretation I was expecting something like. The days of good looking F1 cars are fast disappearing, friend. I think even a street luge looks better than this!

      3. that Mclaren looks like a sad elephant.

        But that Caterham nose…. it’s just so wrong :/

      4. For me a good looking F1 car would have a low thin nose, the wing lengths and height from before 2009 with no winglets on the body, no barge boards, no turning vanes, no nonsense things on the wheels (covers or Ferrari’s rims), overall a lower height. Imagine, an F1 car with the current length and proportionate front and rear wings, plain body and low like in the old days…
        Dreaming is always nice….

        1. …and also wide with fat rear tyres.

    5. Well,… if all F1 noses are going to look like this, I think I am only going to watch the Izod Indycars season this year!

      1. No, just kidding, though the nose of this Caterham CT01 is genuinely ugly. Now that I’ve seen this car, I’d bet this team won’t improve on last season’s championship position.

        Concerning the Indycars: their new Dallara DW12 is seriously good-looking. It throws away that box-like mid/rear end shape. Don’t care whether they’ll be slower than the old car. I think they’ll get quicker over time.

        1. To quote Martin Brundle, “They all look good in the Winner’s circle.”

          Design the fastest car and aesthetics be damned.

        2. Agreed on The DW12. I really like it! Especially from the front. Indycar will hopefully take a step forward this year.

          I like all of this new Caterham, except that bloody nose. It’s worse than Prost, and way worse than the old Walrus nose BMW, I actually kind of liked that one.

    6. I dont remember his name but a williams engineer said that the cars would look odd if FIA continued with the 50cm nose rule.

    7. How will this sell Caterham cars? Guess I’ll stick with my people mover…

    8. Hmmm,some teams are really sticking their noses into it!!! *vomits*

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

    This just looks awful.

    1. Indeed. What’s the old saying about if it looks fast it is? That doesn’t look fast.

      1. Remember 2009 BMW? Looked like snow plow, raced like one. Beware Caterham ;)

      2. What’s the old saying about if it looks fast it is?

        It’s an old saying but it was mostly said before wind tunnels became widely used – the new saying is something like if it’s fast it’s beautiful.

    2. @ajokay Actually the more pictures of the new IndyCar I see on the thread the more it’s growing on me.

      1. I like it in the first place, but even then it’s still growing on me. The haunches at the back of the sidepods… it looks like a cat primed and ready to pounce. It’s very back-heavy which makes it look even more prepared to launch itself forward in a flurry of noisy speed.

        It’s a beautiful car.

        This Caterham… it looks like a green and yellow sack of marbles. Lumpy.

        1. @ajokay I’m sure you hate the massive gap in the livery (sidepods) as much as I do.

    3. To be honest (and unlike the Indycar), the only thing that looks wrong is the nose, the rest of the car is quite OK

      The rear view looks fine!.

    4. The Dallara IndyCar DW12 chassis looks much better than this, and the nose, which is the most prominent part of an F1 car, is balanced and proportionate. This one looks more like this crocodile –

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

  4. Ewwwwwww!

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

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

    1. Definetly a render, look at the tyres

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

    1. But all of them will probably look like this! :P

      Actually, I think the livery exaggerates its contours a little bit. The yellow stripes on the nose end just before the bulges, which doesn’t exactly help.

      For example, this drawing by Craig Scarborough shows what he expects the 2012 cars to look like, and whilst it’s not as pretty as the 2010 and 2011 cars, I don’t think it looks as ugly as the Lotus.

      Having said that, we’ve only seen two angles of this car so far. It might not be that bad.

      1. OK, link didn’t work! Try this. :)

        1. Pretty much the same, save the Caterham being launched with its 2011 spec wings.

          1. If the new ferrari and mclarens have this crash structure infront of the sidepod i will be calling them the bat cars this year!

          2. @TheBrav3

            As that is taking advantage of the safety rules to increase aerodynamic performance I suspect that will be looked at by the FIA.

  8. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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

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

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

    1. 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.

      1. 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

        1. 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).

          1. 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]

      2. matthewf1 (@)
        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?

        1. @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.

          1. matthewf1 (@)
            25th January 2012, 11:26


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

          3. 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.

          4. @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.

          5. @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.

          6. @Adam

            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?

          7. @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
    25th January 2012, 10:59

    Has the car beeen in a punch up or something?

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

  13. 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

    1. thats exactly what i thought

    2. @verstappen

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

      Indeed. On the other hand, they seemed quite pleased to be trending on Twitter:!/TWCaterhamF1/status/162138797847494658

      1. I bet they are, Fernandes tweeted something like that.

        I guess its hard to trump a million people looking on Twitter and the net searching for the first pictures for a good viral, isn’t it?

      2. Indeed. This has got us talking. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out this leak is deliberate.

        1. It’s not a leak. It’s just people receiving their copies of F1 Racing early. Frankly, I’m surprised nobody expected this.

  14. Chunky!

    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. 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’.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

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

        1. 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.

          1. Ah that’s quite true! I apologize :D

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

    1. Finally an angle to be pleased about. Reminded of the TF110?

    2. from that angle it looks like the Mercedes W02 nose from last year.

    3. Yeah, i think they stole a nosecone from W02, and than joined it to a RB6/RB7 monocoque. They had to hammer the cone down a bit to fit. :D

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

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

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

    1. on second thoughts.. it looks like a crocodile !

      .. an ugly crocodile actually !!!

      1. More specifically, the Gavial or the Indian Gharial


      2. A gharial, actually.

        1. the colour is there too !!

          maybe we can expect it to be fast in (very) wet conditions..

        1. @coefficient Perhaps use or something for a link that long next time!

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

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