Caterham F1 unveils its 2012 challenger

Published: 25 January 2012

It's that time of the year when all the new 2012 F1 cars are unveiled. In the next fortnight, most of the major Formula 1 teams will announce their new race cars ready for the 2012 F1 season. The rules are changed, so are the cars. This page will update with all the new 2012 F1 cars as they are unveiled. Stay tuned!

Caterham CT01: the new Caterham 2012 F1 car

Caterham launched its 2012 campaign on 25 January with a substantially redesigned version of last season's Lotus - the new CT01. It's the first Formula 1 car to carry Caterham branding.

Finnishing in 10th postition for the 2011 season, Caterham F1 now aims to move up the rankings and start scoring some Formula 1 World Championship points, according to Mike Gascoyne, the team's chief.

What's new on the 2012 car?

As always in Formula 1 aerodynamics have been the main focus for improvement by Caterham over the winter. The team's used the Williams F1 wind tunnel to augment its development.

A new slightly higher and more compact platypus-style nose cone has been added, incorporating a new stepped design that is to become more common across the grid this season. As a result of this the suspension rods now rise slightly above the top of the nose line. It's an interesting interpretation of the 2012 technical regulation changes, which prevent teams using higher front wings for the upcoming 2012 F1 season.

What about the engines?

Caterham will be using the same Renault Sport F1 engine and Red Bull Technology gearbox from the 2011 car. A move that Gascoyne says will give the team its 'first year of real stability' by 'knowing exactly what we're working with.'

KERS - Kinetic Energy Recovery System

A first for one of the smaller teams, this year's Caterham CT01 will feature the KERS system for the first time, allowing the car to utilise heat energy recovered from the brakes as an electrical boost of up to 80bhp. A move that Gascoyne says will put Caterham on par with its rivals.

Will we see more of this on cars to be launched in early February? 

The Caterham CT01 appears to have significantly slimmer side pods, with a far smoother line as it moves to the back the car. There is also a notable change to the exhaust system following the FIA’s ban of exhaust blown diffusers that were used during the 2011 season by many teams, including Lotus.

And the drivers?

Caterham has retained both Finn Heikki Kovalainen and Italian Jarno Trulli as their drivers for 2012, although rumblings suggest Vitaly Petrov may yet take Trulli's seat.

Diary dates: when the 2012 F1 cars will be unveiled

McLaren Vodafone Mercedes - 1 February 2012
Scuderia Ferrari - 3 February 2012
Force India - 3 Februrary 2012
Lotus F1 Team -  5 Februrary 2012
Sauber F1 Team - 6 Februrary 2012
Red Bull Racing - 6 Februrary 2012
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team - 21 February 2012
Scuderia Toro Rosso - TBC
Williams F1 - TBC
Marussia F1 Team - TBC