Caterham CT01

Gascoyne says EBD ban and KERS introduction will help Caterham

2012 F1 season

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Caterham CT01
Caterham CT01

Caterham chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne says the team stand to benefit from the ban on exhaust-blown diffusers in 2012.

Gascoyne said: “The fact it’s banned this year certainly plays to our advantage. Other teams had so much more development time, they were able to get much more out of it than we were ever able to, so that eliminates a little of the competition in terms of technical development.

“But really, aerodynamics is always one of the main features of development and that’s why we’ve put so much additional resource into it.”

He added the introduction of KERS to the team’s new F1 car will also help them close the gap to the midfield:

“Towards the end of last year it really started to affect us racing with the midfield cars. It hurt us in qualifying and in our eventual race positions. At the last race in 2011, Heikki made a good start and gained a lot of positions but then lost out by not having KERS.

“Having KERS embedded into our 2012 car is another good step forward for us. We had our best ever qualifying in relation to the cars ahead of us in Brazil, and with KERS we could have possibly out-qualified a few of them. So, again, we have another good reason to be very positive about 2012”

The team revealed its CT01 yesterday to much reaction over its unattractive nose design. Gascoyne expects other teams to have similar solutions: “The regulations have changed to limit the height of the nosebox to try to ensure that noses don’t get too high. Our challenge is that you always want to get the chassis as high as possible to allow clean air flow to the underside of the car, and what you see on the CT01 is our solution to that.

“As we’re the first car out it is obviously stirring up a lot of debate, but because of the 2012 regulations I think you’ll probably be seeing this type of nose on most of the cars this year.”

He added the construction and completion of the new car had been aided by improvements within the team:

“It’s the first year of real stability for us on the technical side, and by keeping the Renault Sport F1 engine and Red Bull Technology gearbox, we know exactly what we’re working with and what we can expect. Each year so far we’ve effectively not only had a new design team but also a new gearbox and engine combination.

“Now, however, we have a very stable design team under our technical director Mark Smith, and this means we can take a much bigger step forward in terms of the detail of the design – and that really showed in the homologation process.

“The car build has gone very smoothly. The car will be completely ready for the first test in Jerez on February 7th. In terms of aerodynamic development, we’ve continued our programme in Italy but have augmented that with a development programme in the Williams windtunnel, which has significantly increased our resources.

“All of that means I think we’ll be able to have a better and more competitive car, and we look forward to getting it out, testing it, and proving what the numbers are telling us.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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47 comments on “Gascoyne says EBD ban and KERS introduction will help Caterham”

  1. “The regulations have changed to limit the height of the nosebox to try to ensure that noses don’t get too high. Our challenge is that you always want to get the chassis as high as possible to allow clean air flow to the underside of the car, and what you see on the CT01 is our solution to that.”

    I’m still not understanding why teams aren’t copying the MP4-26 nose. It can’t be all bad, given that McLaren consistently challenged Red Bull last year …

    1. Though would be funny if McLaren has also gone down this route…

    2. But as the Caterham would have more things the same with the Red Bull (and that car was in front), I think Caterham would rather go with the RB7’s lead there.

      Or they would have to change quite a lot of the car’s basics, like the U-sidepods.

    3. Maybe the Mac nose only really worked efficiently with the the U-side pods, which have rumoured to have gone (I hope they haven’t).

      Plus, although it was lower than most still doesn’t didn’t conform to the 2012 regulations.

    4. @Prisoner-Monkeys What element of the MP4-26 nose are referring to? The front wing itself, snow plough, or the bulkhead?

      1. The whole thing – from the tip of the nose back to the cockpit.

        1. Well from what other people have said in commentary and on the internet the MP4-26 did apparently have a very ‘pointy’ front end which allowed aggressive turn in etc, so they obviously had good performance from the front wing.

          But why should everyone be copying it this year?

          People elsewhere have been speculating that the nose profile for the new MP4-27 may not have to deviate too far from last years MP4-26 layout, but until we see it there’s no guarantee they won’t have gone with the Caterham solution as well.

          I know Scarbs has written a great piece on the 3 element endplate-less Ferrari front wing, and he seems to think a few teams may adopt that approach this year.

          Plus surely if Caterham were going to ‘copy’ anyone it would be Red Bull? They’ve got their KERS and gearbox, and the sidepods and coke bottle of the CT01 is almost identical to the RB7.

    5. Do the dimension on the MP4-26 nose comply with this years rules?

      Secondly, is the MP4-26 a superior solution?

      1. @Mike I don’t think that the MP4-26 would qualify for this years 550mm regs on the nose, but apparently it is pretty close!

        Hopefully this means that the MP4-27, and maybe the RB8 will have a bulkhead-nose solution that allows a more subtle approach than the CT01.

        You might find this interesting:

        1. Cheers for the link :D

          1. Hopefully Bleeps is right. I know Caterham’s solution will work, but surely some teams have gone for a more elegant approach. McLaren, being the most innovative team, has hopefully gone more evolutionary this year and just lowered its previous nose a tad.

  2. He certainly seems confident, hopefully for good reason.

    1. Yea just like he did last year…oh sorry, he was OVERconfident, now he’s only confident.

  3. I must admit, I’m really hoping to see Caterham mixing it up in the midfield this year. Last year, without fail, you’d have the midfield teams, followed in order by Team Lotus (Caterham), Virgin (Marussia) and finally HRT, predictable and boring. Closer racing can only bring more exciting races.

    Obviously I’d like to see Marussia and HRT fighting in the midfield as well, but realistically, I don’t think they will be.

    1. I expect Marussia will be in the place Lotus/Caterham was last year. HRT won’t be even close to them they would have close the cap to the older teams but still not completely enough to get points or beat them.

  4. Closer racing can only bring more exciting races.

    Or at the very least, less predictable ones.

  5. the-muffin-man
    26th January 2012, 9:37

    Are there any non-arty images of this car yet. These moody images drive me nuts as you can’t see any detail!!

    1. The original plan was to release pictures online today. The pictures from the F1 Racing magazine were leaked, so Caterham may have the original pictures at hand and might put them out today.

    2. Doing what they are meant to do then. Show something, but not reveal anything much!

    3. You’ll have to wait for the first test for any decent pictures I think!

    4. the-muffin-man
      26th January 2012, 11:28

      McLaren and Ferrari always release loads of photos as can be seen from last years launches…

      …come on Caterham what have you got to hide!!

      1. I think they might have a exclusive deal with the magazine for the early launch pictures?

    5. It’s not about showing anything, it’s about being first. And what they’ve got to hide? Probably the fact, that the car is not ready yet. Marketing, baby!

      1. Well, it’s not, the pictures showed old front and rear wings on the car.

        However, many many teams have done this in the past, so I think it would be a bit much to criticize it.

        Or would everyone rather we had to wait another week to see it?

        1. That’s true. The official wings are evolved during the tests, and only by the first race do they start taking their new intended form.

  6. I really enjoy reading interviews with Gascoyne. They are somehow more interesting than the typical F1 PR stuff.

  7. I love how they’re using the Williams wind tunnel, undoubtedly their biggest rivals last year.

    Maybe Patrick Head was good enough to leave a spanner in the works for them?

    1. Is that wind-tunnel calibrated right? Cause Williams doesn’t seem to get much out of it lately.

  8. I just had a thought about the new noses. I, like many of you have never sat in an F1 car, but will the drivers not be able to see their noses at all now?

    1. That gives further weight to Lewis Hamilton excuse #46 ‘I couldn’t see my nose, man, it’s a frickin’ joke!’.

      1. An excuse Prost could never get away with.

  9. I like the car now, it looks better from the higher shoot when you can see the step, hope they achieve their goals in 2012.

  10. The nose kind of reminds me of the Griffin engined Spitfires that started to come into service towards the end of WWII…they had extra bulges on the nose to help accommodate the larger engines…if only the nose on the CT-01 wasn’t quite so flat it probably wouldn’t look half as bad…

  11. Which is the next team to unveil their car and when? I can’t wait to see what everyone else has done with their snouts now.

    1. McLaren, on Wednesday next week.

    2. I believe McLaren are launching on the 1st Feb.

      Keith has put them all on a google calendar,

  12. Did I hear somewhere that they are doing a straight line test today?

  13. I wonder where Caterham will be 4 years from now. Will they be gone, an established midfield runner, or fighting at the front?

    I’m wondering because of Gascoyne. According to some he’s just a bigmouth and according to others, the man who really put all the basics in place for Renaults/Alonso’s world titles.

    1. Where Caterham will be in 4 years doesn’t depend 100% on Gascoyne. If he keeps doing a good job then he will be there in 4 years and the progress will depend on many of his actions but if the car this year ends up not managing to get closer to the competition he may very well see the exit door and the future of the team in 4 years will have nothing to do with him.
      But Gascoyne never really did a bad job so i don’t get all this bashing he gets at times.
      He did a decent job at Renault(the car won a GP even in 2003) and at Toyota the team still improved when he was there but he left fast because the Japanese executives couldn’t get in their heads that you can’t run an F1 team with distant board meetings.
      Anyway judging by Fernandes character and business moves, the team will be there for a long time. He wants to make a good connection by using F1 to change the popularity of Caterham in the same way Ferrari(and now Mclaren) became known through racing activities and to pull that he needs the F1 team for a quite substantial number of years if not forever.
      The F1 team is connected with his manufacturing cars vision.
      Also the team is personal to him, is his baby project so he won’t let it go easily.
      I see the team there for at least another 10 years. It has to be stack at the bottom all the time for him to pull it out.

    2. F1 teams come and go as they please. The exit of peugeot or the exit of bmw, toyota or renault happened all pretty quickly. A year is long time in F1 and if fernandes for example runs into financial troubles the f1 team is the first to go.

      I really doubt the caterham will be a winning car in 2016 for example. It can be anywhere from mid field to backmarker just as likely it can be sold or scrapped. The one man who makes it or breaks it is not gascoyne but fernandes. As long as fernandes is interested and has the finances the F1 team is a keeper. Just like it is with red bull (Mateschits), Force india (Mallya) or Toro rosso. Rbr won’t stop if newey stops for example.

  14. Yesterday I didn’t like the car at all but the more I look at it I’m kin off starting to like the front nose design. Strange!

    1. Same here :D

  15. At least they’re very realistic, aiming for just one point this season. And I don’t mean to be disrepectful as I hope they’ll do better than that.

    1. Very realistic

    2. Oh Well much better than the 40-50 points they were aiming for last year….

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