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Caterham F1 Team unveil teaser shot of first F1 car
Posted By:   |  25 Jan 2012   |  8:06 pm GMT  |  110 comments

The Caterham F1 Team has today unveiled a teaser photo its 2012 season challenger, the CT01, a day ahead of the planned release in F1 Racing magazine.

Caterham had intended to showcase their car, the first since the name change from Team Lotus, on the cover of F1 Racing magazine, which is released on Thursday. However at midday UK time, the team posted an image of this years car on its official Twitter feed with more images set to be published on Caterham’s website tomorrow, along with some thoughts from technical boss Mike Gascoyne and team boss Tony Fernandes.

The photo confirms that the 2012 cars will look quite unusual, due to new regulations regarding the nose area; the car has a platypus-style nose.

This is a car which needs to propel the team into the midfield, to challenge teams like Sauber, Toro Rosso and Williams. The new car has also been built with a more aggressive aerodynamic approach, featuring low rear bodywork and slim sidepods aimed at minimizing the drag effect in that section of the car. The team will once again use Renault engines and a Red Bull gearbox. It will also have KERS for the first time, which will give a boost of around 0.4s per lap compared to last years KERS-less car.

The CT01 is scheduled to have its debut outing, along with many of the new cars from other teams, at the first official test at Jerez, which begins on February 7th.

What kind of season do you think Caterham will have?

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C’mon guys, it may not be a pretty sight to see but if the racing is intense and close, I’m sure we’ll soon forget the fact that the cars are a sight for sore eyes! 😀

I really cant wait for this season to begin!! Its like all the recent greats (on the grid and elsewhere), are positioning themselves for what will be an epic season!


James, Off-topic (I’m sure I won’t be the only only one to ask about this) what’s the legal position regarding Lewis Hamilton being ‘expected’ to attend the Sutil Germany trial: Is he legally obliged to attend, and what if he didn’t?


Caterham CT01 now as Call The Duck because of nose by the fan..


If they would just legalize ground effect tunnels again we could get back to beautiful race cars. Lotus 79 to mentionjust 1. The reasons to ban ground effect are no longer relavent, and shoud cornering speeds get too high,they could make minor changes to the rules and limit tunnel volumes.


I have enjoyed watching this team very much, and they seem to have a strong technical group. However I’m concerned about the general direction of the team.

Tony made a poor decision to go with the Team Lotus branding, and then decided to battle it out with Lotus, alienating himself from both brands and diluting the teams DNA.

They are still missing a title sponsor, so are using his Air Asia business, and now they have rebranded to Catterham, his side project/niche kit car builder, which for Catterham cars may be an amazing deal but makes little to no financial sense for Tony or the F1 team.

They’ve gotten lucky with the Renault engine deal and more so with the Red Bull gearbox/kers tie up, but what they really need to continue moving forwards is a proper manufacturer works deal, and/or a major title sponsor.

To me, while the team stays the plaything of Fernandes and he keeps double dipping in sponsorship, branding etc it will be difficult for them to move to the front of the midfield or beyond.


UGLY, that’s how most of us felt when the 2009 car was exposed.

Better wait for testing to begin. But looks like the front humpy effect will be the basic feature as mentioned by Mike.


Love it , 🙂


Its looks a bit like the nose that Sauber ran in 2010 does it not?


I hate to think what impact such a radical change in boundary layer will do to laminar flow, surely this is a transition to turbulent flow, its not going to re attatch further back unless its forcing down the BL further back


It occurred to me that a lot of what’s being said is if the car is ugly or not, and how this was influenced by the technical rules. People say that fast is beautiful and it doesn’t matter how the car looks. I completely agree. Cars that adapt to the technical rules with innovation define what’s beautiful. This new rule, I feel, is different, in that it took a part of the car and limited its height, but left all other parts of the car alone. There is no other interpretation of the rules other than this one for the teams, if they want to be competitive. The rule makers must have known this. Adapting to these regulations, I fear, will not result in beauty following success. It just looks like what it is: An arbitrary rule tacked on to an already established set of rules that the cars have come to adapt to.


I’m not impressed… there was too much light in the picture.


I won’t be buying one of these for the model cabinet. It’ll frighten the neighbour’s kids.


Not too ugly. The shock of seeing the cars with big front wing and small rear wing was way more worse (especially that first photo of the BMW).

Still, I think it will look a lot better when seen in action.


The look of the car should be a serious factor as it is part of the attraction, therefore should be considered when setting up the rules. These new cars won’t look just ugly, they will look stupid.


It is so ugly that they chose to show only pictures of it in the dark. Yet still it evokes thoughts of the Elephant Man.


[mod] Fans who believe an F1 car must meet a very narrow range of aesthetic criteria to be judged “beautiful”. It’s clear none of these people have what it takes to be F1 designers. It’s all about going fast. I don’t subscribe to the view that beauty is defined by how much a car looks like a 1970s Ferrari. To me, this is a beautiful car – it’s tightly designed to excel given a certain set of technical restrictions. It looks pretty exciting to me.


Right on… Form follows function, the way it should be.


Oops sorry if I was too strong with my original (moderated) comment. It does interest me though why people expect fighter jets to look functional and aggressive but f1 cars have to look pretty. Maybe it’s because people have that mindset when it comes to road cars that the buy, because image is important to them if they’re going to be seen driving the thing, and they carry that over to f1.


A large part of me thinks that the whole ‘leak’ may have simply been nice marketing. I don’t believe that the Team wouldn’t have known that subscribers often get magazines a day or to before they hit the shelves.

Any chance that this is going to improve when they start putting 2012 spec wings on and this is simply a launch spec? Not overly optimistic but as long as it is fast all will be well.

The rest of the car looks rather nice, especially the packaging round the rear end, I think this could be a trend we will see on all cars this year. Significant that they have KERS this year as it alone will provide them a noticeable step forward, assuming they get better reliability than last years RBR. Is it this years RBR KERS or last years?

Also, is it my eyes and the lighting or has the Caterham got an incredibly long wheelbase?


I think FIA should concentrate more on banned ‘Ugly Looking’ cars like these rather than banning Renault’s Dive-stall device.

F1 is ought to be about beauty. The reason why Ferrari has been ruling the passions of us fans is that they churned out the most beautiful looking machines since F1 started. No matter where they finished, no matter how much they broke down (Alesi era) they always were revered and worshiped.

When you eliminate the ‘beautiful’ aspect from F1 then it turns out to be a fat efficient chick in a nightclub… which is useless to be honest 😉


I do not know why everybody is harping on about it looks. Everybody agreed at the start of the 2010 season that the Virgin Racing car looked absolutely stunning… But was it stunningly fast? You all know that answer. So, I will reserve judgment until the first race,grudgingly I admit because I want to know NOW how fast it is, if it is indeed beautiful. If it is fast, it can look like the ugliest thing dredged out of the deepest ocean for all I care. Like Luca DeMontezemelo said, If it is fast, it is beautiful.


Totally agree. It’s new and different which is putting off some people because it’s not what they’re used to or expect. I remember thinking the high nose cars were ugly as sin when they first appeared, but now it seems normal. Same with the high air intakes for the engine. Many people considered rear engined cars ugly when they first appeared. btw the most beatiful F1 car for me are the Maserati 250F, The Ferrari 156, and the Eagle.


(btw the most beatiful F1 car for me are the Maserati 250F, The Ferrari 156, and the Eagle.)

I tend to agree with you. For me, the Brabham BT19 is still the best looking car in F1 history.


Yes, the Brabham is right up there. I could also add the Lotus 78/79 – and what a beautiful livery!




Ok, everyone except you I guess… Even Angelina Jolie is considered ugly by some people… 😛


2012 – the Year of the Platypus, eh? Just curious to anyone who can answer – does the raised nose increase risk to drivers in collisions, especially in side on contact potentially deflecting off the side pods (sidepod removes underset wing, nose skims across top of side pod and then at driver)?


the reason for the lower nose is actually to improve safety in the sort of contact you mention.

the really high noses we have had the past few years have started to get into the zone where they would go above the crash structure in the event of a t-bone type crash.


Dear F1 tech / regulators,

Why are you lot tweaking the regulations to make the cars more and more ugly ever since 2009? We had a huge shock back then and now it’s even worse.

For Pete’s sake just bring back regulations from 1990 or something when we had good looking cars AND damn great racing! There’s no need to introduce new AND POINTLESS regulations when there are old ones you can make bloody good use of.


One ugly car I agree, but hey everyone, Mike Gas has never been a great F1 car designer, his cars have always looked a little bit weird, no?


Just another thing…

This car’s nose remind me of AP01 from Prost


today more photo will release to everyone..

looking forward jerez testing ..


I don’t think it looks all that bad…


I thought they were running lower noses on the cars this year, to stop them from becoming air borne in rear end crashes.

This nose looks rather high like the 1999/2000 Ferraris


Dunno why people are freaking out: Marussia (Virgin at the time) and HRT had more or less the same type of nose in 2010. I seem to recall reviews were more favourable.

Looks funky to me. Certainly Caterhammers will need to deliver at least something this year: Stewart won a race in its 3rd year of existence but those were the different times of course. Either JYS knew what he was doing or new kids on the F1 block aren’t good enough.

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