Date: 6th February 2012 at 10:00am
Written by:

Formula One teams have been unveiling their new cars for the 2012 season over the past week and with the exception of McLaren, they are all pretty ugly.

Caterham, Ferrari, Force India and Lotus have all unveilled their new machines, all of which have a ‘broken nose’ type design between the base of the cockpit and the front wing.

Caterham and Ferrari have the harshist design to date, which look very boxy, while Force India and in particular Lotus, have a more subtle sleaker appearance.

The reason for the changes is because in 2012 the new FIA regulations require a lower nose for safety purposes, however the height of the chassis behind a certain point has remained the same as previous seasons, which leaves this rather unsightly appearance in the design.

Lotus technical director James Allison spoke to Sky Sports and explained it in layman’s terms: ‘Up at the front of the car, there is a very obvious changes, there is a distinctive slope to the nose, The reason for this is for years you will gradually notice that the height of the nose has been coming up and up.

‘The reason for that is that there is more downforce if you raise the bodywork at the front of the car.

‘But the problem with that high nose is that eventually the nose can get to a height that if there were to be a T-bone crash the tip of the nose could be so high that it exceeds the height of the cockpit of the other car.

‘Clearly that’s a very poor situation as you don’t want the driver’s head having a nose slamming into it from the side.

‘And so for this year we agreed that the tips of the noses all had to be lowered by a considerable amount. But the rule itself doesn’t require the front of the car to be lower, it only requires the tip of the nose to be lowered.’


So all eyes on Sauber, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Williams who all launch their cars over the next 24 hours to see how they have incorporated the changes.