Caterham F1 Team, the rebranded Team Lotus owned by Tony Fernandes, has unveiled its 2012 challenger. The CT01, as it is called, comes with a “platypus-style” nose, which is unusual, but expected to find its way to many other 2012 cars due to new regulations. The team retains its green and yellow theme from the Lotus Racing days.

From these enhanced images, the CT01 appears to be more advanced aerodynamically than its predecessors. Expert F1 eyes also picked out tight-sculpted, low rear bodywork and slim and short sidepods, the latter maximises the low drag effect in that area.

“The regulations have changed to limit the height of the nosebox to try to ensure that noses don’t get too high. Our challenge is that you always want to get the chassis as high as possible to allow clean air flow to the underside of the car, and what you see on the CT01 is our solution to that,” explains tech chief Mike Gascoyne.

“As we’re the first car out it is obviously stirring up a lot of debate, but because of the 2012 regulations I think you’ll probably be seeing this type of nose on most of the cars this year,” the Brit added.

Unlike before, this car isn’t burdened with lofty targets from the start. “I think we need to see the car on track first and get feedback from the first tests. Until we run the car, we only have numbers and simulation data to work with. But every team wants to move up the grid and we’re no different. We finished 10th in the last two years, which has been our target, but now I think it’s time we moved forward again. Let’s see what happens we get out on track,” said Gascoyne.

Moving forward from just being the “best of the new teams” is to be a solid midfield team, and that should be a realistic target for 2012. The CT01 will hit the track at Jerez next month for testing.