Archive for the ‘Caterham CT3 Renault’ Category

How to move an F1 team around the world


Caterham F1 Team Manager Graham Watson explains how a Formula 1 team goes about transporting its entire racing operation around the world week after week.

credit: Caterham F1 Team

Understanding braking efficiency and downforce: Caterham F1 technical



credit: Caterham F1 Team

F1 pit stop procedure: Caterham F1 technical


credit: F1 Caterham F1 Team

How F1 suspension works: Caterham F1 technical



credit: Caterham F1 Team

Caterham Unchained: Guide to an F1 steering wheel



credit : Caterham F1 Team

Caterham CT3 – new rear wing in Canada but only for free testing sessions

Left image the raced spec – right images the tested spec

Left image the raced spec – right images the tested spec

    The Canadian rear wing spec was actually the Bahraini spec with a more neutral and flat shaped main flap. Furthermore a gill-less endplate spec with launch style endplate cut on top was tested but not finally raced .

     Canadian circuit requires a lower amount of downforce than most tracks need, so Caterham choice not to race a lower downforce set up revealed once more the car’s inability to generate enough grip.

Caterham CT3 – New rear wing part of the major upgrade package launched in Bahrain

new spec , first raced at Bahrain on Charles Pic only

new spec , first raced at Bahrain on Charles Pic only

    At Bahrain Caterham pushed to launch a major upgrade package, including a new rear wing. However Charles Pic was the only driver to have the new rear wing and some of other upgrades for race.

     The new wing design had new straight endplate gills, also increased in number from four to five, new endplate vanes close to the diffuser roof, new endplate cut at top (bringing back in memory old Renault style endplates ) , a main plane with  curved upwards centre section (the old was flat)  and finally new beam winglet. All changes added more downforce and alongside with the rest aero changes improved the car balance and stability in both low and high speed turns.

    In Spain both drivers raced with the new wing.

shorter endplate vanes for the new spec

shorter endplate vanes for the new spec

Below follows some key spots on the launch spec rear wing

Caterham CT3 RW Launch 11a F

Launch spec key spots

1. mini plane – resembles to old Williams style

2. endplate gills, reduce drag favoring top speed

3. the endplate has a distinctive cut on top for drag reduction

Caterham CT3 – new diffuser at 1st Barcelona test

B spec, tested at Barcelona test on February

B spec, tested at Barcelona test on February

   Caterham tried a modified diffuser at first Barcelona test, featuring a new perforated tab fence demarcated between the rear wing’s endplates . The new design improves diffuser’s suction ability, thus improving downforce production . The perforated diffuser concept is not new in Formula 1 but present since few years ago.

Caterham CT03 – winter testing (pre season) tech summary

Caterham CT03 SV Launch 1

Chassis :  CT03

Engine : Renault RS27 – 2013



  Caterham and Lotus are the only teams to retain the stepped nose refusing to utilize a modesty panel . CT03 features new significantly undercut  sidepods with multiple vertical flow conditioners on sidepod deck and  Coanda exhaust copied from Mc Laren which carries a disputed vane to help extract more aerodynamic performance  but later declared illegal and thus removed .

Winter testing updates :

   A new perforated diffuser was launched at Barcelona test on February while both the front and brake ducts undergone several changes through pre session testing .




Aerodynamic performance :  poor, the front end does not cooperate with the rear . However potential is there

Speed :. Seems to be the slowest car , even slower than Marussia and far behind the middle pack .

Tyres management  :   frustrating

Reliability  :  questionable



Caterham CT03 S Launch 31 F

multiple flow conditioners on sidepod deck



2013 F1 cars – Nose Fairing patterns

February 19, 2013 1 comment


        Despite the fact that FIA attempted to discourage teams from exploiting the nose fairing and gaining aero advantage over it, many teams bypassed the regulations spirit and developed elegant structures both to gain  improved airflow over the nose and keep the weight penalty due to the added fairing as low as possible . To be honest this was something more than expected as many changes caused the opposite effect than the wanted    one, with the recent ban of the blown diffuser to be the best example. The only team which does not need a fairing is Marussia because of its low chassis .

       Ferrari, Mc Laren, Force India, Williams and Toro Rosso followed a conservative pattern as shown in the illustration below

Ferrari , Mc Laren , Force India , Toro RossoA full cover from stepped point to the nose tip , highlighted in orange color .

Ferrari , Mc Laren , Force India, Williams , Toro Rosso
A full cover from stepped point to the nose tip , highlighted in orange color .


         Sauber developed a unique “ Π ” shaped fairing to create a deep channel on top of  the nose, separating the air stream flowing over the nose with the one flowing at sides .

Sauber - Π concept

Sauber – Π concept


   Red Bull’s dwarf fairing is an outcome of the desire to limit the fairing dimensions to the minimum required for opted aero efficiency so as to keep the extra weight as low as possible .

Red Bull - dwarf fairing

Red Bull – dwarf fairing


    Mercedes evolved further last season arched nose . Instead of being flat at the top it has an intense arched shape and a more smooth  bulkhead height  transition . This is to reduce drag by diverting the air flowing above the nose tip towards the  nose sides while the main flow is channeled smoothly over the bulkhead  , all aiming lower drag production . The optical result of this pattern resembles to a duck nose .

Mercedes - duck fairing

Mercedes – duck fairing



       Finally Caterham and  Lotus  rejected the possibility of fixing a weight costly fairing and instead developed a sculpted chassis on top, thus forming a smoother airpath for drag cut . However Caterham features a deeper and a more obvious sculpted area than Lotus does .

Caterham and Lotus - sculpted chassis

Caterham and Lotus – sculpted chassis



        It is of high possibility to see teams developing further their initial idea or even coping rivals patterns . It is good to remember that the nose fairing,  as all new designs, needs to be examined and studied further , unless FIA decides to make regulations even stricter .



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