Daily Archives: January 25, 2012

Pirelli unveil softer tyre compounds and new colour coding for 2012

Pirelli have introduced 4 new tyre compositions

Pirelli have introduced 4 new tyre compositions

Following the first look at the Caterham CT01, Pirelli have also revealed the rubber that all 12 F1 teams will be running on this season.

The Italian manufacturer has constructed brand-new soft, medium and hard compound tyres, with the super-soft formula being carried on from last year. There is also a new extreme wet tyre to be used.

The new tyres will be of a softer composition compared to last year.

The colour coding for the dry tyres remains roughly the same, except the hard tyre is now a much lighter silver colour, and it is expected to be almost invisible at high speed.

The intermediate tyre is now coloured green, while the new extreme wet compound is blue.

All 6 variants of tyre contain slightly wider contact patch than 2011, to counteract the loss of downforce from the banning of off-throttle diffusers. Pirelli explained that they have incorporated less of a rounded shoulder on the rubber to improve grip.

They also noted that they intend to reduce the performance gap between the options and primes on race weekends, from 1.2-1.8 seconds last year to around 0.6-0.8 in 2012.

Caterham show pictures of new CT01 early

The Caterham CT01 features a "distinct" nose cone

The Caterham CT01 features a "distinct" nose cone

Caterham are the first team of 2012 to release pictures of their race car for the year – the CT01.

The launch was planned for tomorrow, but pictures were released today by F1 Racing magazine. Caterham have since shown one of their official photos on their Twitter feed.

Caterham's official picture of the CT01

Caterham's official picture of the CT01

The rest of the launch and images will be on the Caterham site tomorrow.

The most striking part of the CT01 is undoubtedly the platypus-style nose cone, with much larger front suspension mounts, which are now raised above the nose. This is expected to become the norm this year, as the FIA seek to reduce the height of the nose cones, while teams seek to raise their suspension mounts as high as possible.

The sidepods are much slimmer than last year, and the all-carbon blade roll hoop has been replaced by a more conventional roll structure.

It is clear that these photos of the car include 2011-spec wings and vanes. The CT01 also seems to be more aerodynamically aggressive than its predecessor, which was deliberately conservative. The team are also running a KERS unit in the year’s model for the first time, which should help them challenge the midfield.

The car will make its track debut in Jerez next month when testing begins.

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