The new Caterham CT05 took to the track in Jerez today in the hands of Marcus Ericsson. Inevitably the car’s unusual nose has already attracted a lot of comment.
“Despite the major rule changes introduced this season, our design philosophy was actually only slightly different to usual for a totally new car,” said technical director Mark Smith. “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.”