One day ahead of its official launch, a picture from F1Racing magazine was leaked on twitter, showing the entire CaterhamF1 CT01 car. The car, as expected, features a striking nose with a bump, a feature necessary to comply with changed regulations.
The new caterham confirms the dropping of the roll blade as instead the team have chosen to opt for a regular airbox.
Although the car is pictured with the 2011 front and rear wings fitted, the image clearly shows the new nose cone. The particular shape is the result of changed regulations which aimed at lowering the tip of the nose to a maximum of 550mm above the reference plane.
While the change would still allow for elegant nose designs, it is likely more teams will have similar nose cones as all are eager to get as much air under the car as possible. This undercar airflow helps produce downforce at the floor and its diffuser, an area which will already see reduced downforce because of the banning of blown diffusers.
Apart from the obvious change in the front, Mike Gascoyne and his team have also managed to shorten the sidepods dramatically, reducing the internal volume in the sidepods. To prevent the car to overheat, a tail funnel has been created to exit hot air just above the gearbox.
The similarities in design are unsurprisingly similar to Red Bull's design philosophies. In essence, it has the same drivetrain, as Caterham now have a Renault engine coupled to a Red Bull gearbox. This also mandates the pullrod suspension at the rear end of the car.
Finally, the exhausts are located quite low and in the wake of the sidepods' airflow. It means the exhausts are not visible when looking at the car from the front. Due to their position, Caterham is looking to blow the exhaust gases onto the beam wing, at least in this first iteration of its design. It is far from unthinkable that when different solutions appear to have a performance benefit, others will quickly adapt the exhaust outlets.