It's almost time for the start of the 2012 Formula 1 season, and teams around the globe are revealing their car designs for the new year. Road-car manufacturers Ferrari, Caterham, and McLaren are among the teams that have shown off their new cars in anticipation of this year's first race in Melbourne, Australia, on March 18.
Cars this year must follow a few new rules adopted by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile sanctioning body, including a lower front nose, revised exhaust exit designs, and engine computer programming. As before, all engines in the 2012 Formula 1 season must be 2.4-liter V-8s.
Ferrari's new car is called the F2012, and will be driven by both Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso. It's the 58th Formula 1 racer that Ferrari has ever developed. Changes include a new "stepped" nose that results from the new regulations, a narrower rear end thanks to a more compact transaxle housing, and redesigned cooling ducts for the Brembo-supplied brakes.
McLaren's new racer is the MP4-27, which will be driven by Lewis Hamilton and Jensen Button. The new car doesn't have the stepped nose design seen on the Ferrari model, but instead adopts a sleek, swooping front end that dips low enough to comply with the new FIA regulations. The team says its car is all-new, even though visually it looks identical to last season's entry. The car's 2.4-liter V-8 is supplied by Mercedes-Benz, and can rev to an incredible 18,000 rpm.
Caterham showed off its CT01, which is to be piloted by Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli in this seasons Formula 1 championship. The car's engines are sourced from Renault Sport F1 and its transaxle from Red Bull Technology.
Sources: Ferrari, Caterham, McLaren