Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: | posted January 30, 2014 06:52
The CT05 maximizes aero and mechanical performance with huge emphasis on weight reduction and reliability.
Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi and Swede Marcus Ericsson were on hand to personally reveal the Caterhams CT05 they will be competing with in the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship.
The CT05 is the first car to be fully designed and built at Caterham's Leafield Technical Centre. It still sports Caterham's all-green livery with a new and fresh layout for the 2014 season. It will still be powered by Renault Sport F1, using the new Renault Energy F1 engine mated to a Red Bull Technology gearbox.
"Having Kamui and Marcus unveiling CT05 is a proud moment for me and the whole team, especially with both F1 and Caterham entering a new era in 2014. We believe we have answered the challenges presented by the new regulations as effectively as we can.
"We also have very good reason to be positive about how this car will develop throughout the season ahead. Thanks to our relocation in 2012 to at the core of the 'F1 valley', and a highly selective recruitment plan, our staff are now a good mix of experience and young talent and we have moved our wind tunnel program to the Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) facility in Cologne, Germany. This means we are now working at 60% scale, a significant improvement over our previous facility and another sign of just how serious we are about making real progress this year. In addition to the TMG move is an improved partnership with Dell/Intel which gives us, among many other benefits, a major upgrade to our CFD capability, a critical part of our design toolbox that is even more important this year with the rule changes governing wind tunnel use in 2014.
"Behind the wheel in 2014 we have a good mix of experience, pace and passion in Kamui, and with Marcus we have given another GP2 star the chance to make the step up to F1. His career has led him to 2014, the season he makes his F1 debut, and we are confident he will make the step up to the top level in the same calm yet quick manner he has shown throughout his career. Helping Kamui and Marcus develop the car throughout the year will be Robin Frijns and Alexander Rossi who will be our 2014 reserves. Robin is an undoubted talent and we are pleased he sees that, with us, he can prepare fully for a future F1 seat. Alexander has been with us since 2011 and we have seen him develop enormously since then. Now he has a real chance to fight for the GP2 championship throughout 2014, and to continue his F1 development at non-GP2 race weekends and in our simulator," said Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal and CEO, Caterham F1 Team.
"Despite the major rule changes introduced this season, our design philosophy was actually only slightly different to usual for a totally new car. We have still sought to maximise aero and mechanical performance within the regulations but there has been more emphasis than usual placed upon weight reduction and, bearing in mind how critical reliability will be this year, we have been slightly more conservative in the areas around the new power unit - cooling systems, exhausts, heat management etc.
"At the front of the car, the area that will obviously inspire most debate, we have focused a lot of effort on optimising flow structures around the nose, the front of the chassis and the reduced-width front wing area, all in response to the 2014 regulation changes. However, the package we start testing with is by no means our definitive answer and we fully expect to evaluate alternative solutions throughout the course of 2014, particularly now our 60% scale work has started in the TMG wind tunnel in Cologne and our improved Dell/Intel HPC (High Performance Cluster) is coming on stream, significantly stepping up our CFD resource.
"Overall, there were a number of other major areas the design team focused on - the front chassis height led us to opt for pullrod suspension which gives us the best solution from both a mechanical and aerodynamic perspective. Another focus area was cooling - charge air cooler packaging has driven the cooling architecture and consequently the sidepod and rear-deck bodywork and, at the rear end of the car, our development has been driven by the removal of the beam wing, again as per 2014 regulations, and the exhaust blowing effect we've seen in recent years - this has created a challenge all teams will face, how to recover the rear load generated by those areas in previous seasons, and, again, something that will continue to develop throughout the season ahead," said Mark Smith, Technical Director, Caterham F1 Team.