Caterham CT05#1 2014 F1 Car 

2014 Caterham CT05 Chassis

The CT05 Chassis was an evolution of the 2013 CT03 car. There were a total of 4  CT05 Chassis built for 2014. The first was built in late 2013 with design commencing in early 2013. The last chassis was built during the middle of 2014 and was introduced at Spa as a replacement for chassis 1 which was crashed in Hungary in 2014.

Below are the design aspirations for the CT05. 

The below list shows what the design team wished for in differences between the 2013 CT03 and the 2014 CT05

Once design work was underway there were many evolutions to the initial CT05 design with updates being worked on until mid 2014 when the strategic view switched more towards 2015 and the CT06 Chassis.

The monocoque had many subtle changes to the CT03. The side by side comparison above shows the design of the monocoque next to a completed tub which was CT05#1. Below you can see where the monocoque fits into the design and mid build of what I believe to be CT05#2

The nose of the CT05 grabbed everyone's attention and was later updated before the Belgium GP in Spa. The initial nose was of carbon construction with a vanity panel on the outer. The below image, taken by the team after Kamui Kobayashi crashed in Melbourne 2014 shows the vanity panel exposed.

The MK1 nose (above) ran on the first 3 chassis produced but only chassis #1 remains with this style of nose as an adapting plate on the top of the monocoque was added between Budapest and Spa in 2014, meaning all other chassis used after this date as the adapted nose. Below, early testing of the mark 1 nose

The bodywork was more streamlined and brakes updated with new aero built in to the carbon "Cake tins" for 2014. The right hand image below shows the anticipated air flow

Some of the Bodywork updates are shown below. There were too many to list on this site but it does give an insight into some of the meticulous work carried out.

Drives Positioning was considered and adapted for there 2 main drivers, Ericsson & Kobayashi

The Rear and front wings were updated and then tested for load strength

During early 2014 Chassis CT05#1 was sent off for independent rig testing to see how it performed. Most of the Rig testing was carried out in house using a CT03 chassis on the left with CT05#2 also in use


Initial changes to the steering wheel which hoped to have a larger screen were delayed with the revised steering wheel only having one test. The CT05 chassis were all driven using an updated 2013 steering wheel

There were great hopes for the 2014 CT05 as Caterham were ahead in time during the Winter of 2013/14 however I am sure their staff would tell you otherwise. The car designers had high hopes for a successful year however the design of the car had been too conservative with the car struggling to generate heat in its tyres and had issues with cooling in general. Some bad luck with timing didn't help as the Caterham team were contracted to use what turned out to be an unreliable Renault Power unit for 2014. During the first test in Jerez 2014 for all the Hybrid cars the Renault Unit immediately looked to be the wrong choice. It has since taken Renault a further 3 years to gain credibility with their power units. I was lucky enough to be at the test as a spectator and can confirm that the cars that stood out for unreliability were the Renault cars. I am pleased to say I watched CT05#1 first ever lap and photographed it several times over the following days.

The new hybrid challenges were packing all that technology under an engine cover that was shrinking due to the rear end "Coke bottle" designs of the cars. The below "top secret" images show how packed the power unit and coolers were.

Below are a couple more images from the initial design specification power point used by the team.

From the 4 Chassis built:

  • Marcus Ericsson drove Chassis 1
  • Kamui Kobayashi / Andrea Lotterer drove Chassis 2
  • Kamui Kobayashi drove Chassis 3
  • Marcus Ericsson / Will Stevens drove Chassis 4
  • Testing was also carried out with various drivers, as was Friday practice sessions. The above relates to Grand Prix' only

Chassis 1 had an accident in Budapest where the car snapped from Ericssons hands and hit the wall. Chassis 2 was famously crashed in Australia on the first lap and suffered a couple of additional shunts, leaving a crack in the monocoque. Chassis 3 was crashed in Testing in Barcelona and then returned as a "chassis in a box" after Budapest 2014 with Chassis 4 being introduced in Belgium and ended the year in Abu Dhabi as Will Stevens car.

Below is the CT05 wind tunnel model, I believe Caterham used a third party facility but did have longer term plans to build their own

The development calendar (below) was packed but achievable once the team had reached Jerez.

One of the 2013 CT03 Chassis was left in Leafield to run on the rig which provided valuable information in the development of CT05. Later a CT05#2 Chassis was used to synchronise the results

The end result was the CT05 Chassis#1. As seen just before the team set off to Jerez in January 2014 for its first test. No rear wing or nose but it still looked good in my eyes.

If we fast forward to the Administrators auctions the 4 chassis were incorrectly listed, mainly due to the chassis' not all being marked.

Thanks to my mate Bjorn who went along before the first auction and captured chassis 2,3 & 4 plus Wyles & Hardy for the pictures. Without this conclusive proof that chassis 2,3 & 4 had plates on I could still be guessing on which tub my car was.



Lot 254 - Chassis CT05#2  Sold for £38,515 including fee's -Tested in Bahrain during the February 2014 before being raced by Kobayashi in Australia (big shunt 1st corner), Monaco (Jules Bianchi overtook Kobayashi at the end to secure points), Canada, Austria, Silverstone, Germany, Hungary, Spa (Andrei Lotterer), Monza, Singapore, Suzuki, Sochi, Yas Marine. 13 Grand Prix's with a highest position of 13th in Monaco. This was more of a complete car with the gearbox removed by Red Bull and the Power Unit missing as it was returned to Renault. Most other parts were in place to restore this car back to running condition. The car is now in Mainland Europe.

Video of the car can be found


Lot 210-Chassis CT05#3 Sold for £9,628 including fees. Raced by Koabayashi in Malaysia, Bahrain, China and Spain plus tested in Barcelona 13th May 2014 before accident damage towards the end of the day led to its repair. This was the "spare" chassis in the truck from the Belgium GP onwards and was never used again after the original May F1 test in Barcelona. 3 Grand Prix's, 1 test, highest position 13th Malaysia 2014. This car has since been re-built into a rolling show car for private purposes and is now in Mainland Europe

Lot 289 - Chassis CT05#4 sold for £57,489 including fees. Raced by Marcus Ericsson in Belgium, Monza, Singapore, Suzuka, Sochi and then by Will Stevens in Abu Dhabi. Highest position 15th in Singapore. This was more of a complete car with the gearbox removed by Red Bull and the Power Unit missing as it was returned to Renault. Most other parts were in place to restore this car back to running condition. The chassis plate looks like the one from CT05#1 has been removed and a number 4 made from the original number 1 that was on my car. I don't know where this car ended up, any help would be appreciated.

Video of the car can be found on you tube

Then there was my chassis #1. Lot 4007 Described as chassis #3 although chassis#3 had already been sold. This tub was stripped bare and was sold as a prospective simulator. The tub went up for sale on the 15th of April 2015 at 10am. This was the car I wanted as I knew I could rebuild it back into a car (although I didn't have any other parts !). The auction had one of those five minute extensions every time someone placed a high bid. I sat there waiting and bidding and after a painful hour I managed to beat someone else to the lot. Months later I managed to speak to the other bidder who won Caterham CT05#3, he gave up after a while as he thought Lot 4007 was more like scrap and wanted it for spare parts. Since then I have sent the guy various photos and video I took of his own chassis during the 2014 Spanish F1 in season test and we have traded a few parts.

Lot 4007 with no chassis plate (it must belong to someone now) & chassis plates for #2,#3 & #4 that were in the other monocoque' that were sold.

The lot 4007 tub had no chassis plate, very little identification and two broken wing mirrors that were sitting in the bottom of the tub when I collected it. Chassis plate 4 looks like it is chassis plate 1 that has been altered, guessing this was due to time and supply issues?

Lot 4007 - CT05#1 After research, knowing that Caterham only made 4 Chassis and adding the two parts together can confirm this is chassis#1. Tested in Jerez (launch car) by Marcus Ericsson, Robin Frijns and Kamui Kobayashi before being raced by Marcus Ericsson in Australia, Malaysia,Bahrain, China, Catalunya, Monaco, Canada, Austria, Silverstone, Germany, Hungary, Tested in Silverstone for 2 days by Will Stevens & Julian Leal. Highest position 11th in Monaco (The highest position for the Caterham F1 team in 2014). I took the below picture on the day I collected the tub from Leafield.

Next to it are two damaged earlier tubs that sold at the same time, T128#2 sold for £6,018 & CT01#1 Sold for £9,982

My Caterham CT05#1 on the day of collection

Below are the chassis logs for the CT05 Chassis. I have cobbled these together from press links, web pages found and Autocourse so this is the to the best of my knowledge accurate

Below is an overview of the Caterham CT05 Car as written by Stefan Ruitenberg. Give him a follow on Twitter @StefanGT3 . Thanks for letting me use this info Stefan

Come 2014, a new dawn was set for Formula One, where Hybrid systems and new aerodynamics came upon the sport to make it more ‘modern’. There were many great cars that contested that year, which saw the Mercedes W05 come out on top.

One team who I believe deserves some credit was the Caterham boys, who worked very hard on their 2014 challenger, the CT05. John Illey and his team worked with little money (which ran out come the final race where the team had to crowdfund to participate) and still had some innovative concepts on their car. Here is a full rundown of the cars great parts and the areas where it got let down. The CT05 was the first all Caterham car to be designed and built in Leafield, the firms base, so the CTO5 was a big step for this little team.

​Above is the launch spec CT05 in CAD form plus images thanks to Scarbs. This shot was from the new owner (@KevTs). Sections of the car are in different colours as they were designed and modelled by someone else among the team. The final CAD model has all of the models put together to form the car. You can also note the pure complexity of CAD.

​Firstly, starting off with the front nose, which was changed due to new FIA regulations, which implemented low noses for safety aspects. John Illey and his team started off with what was very unusual design at the cars launch. It seemed to be a carryover from the 2013 bulkhead but had the vanity panel coming down to make an aerofoil shaped structure. You then had the finger extension to meet the FIA regulations upfront.

While many rival outfits had the same design, as it was the best aerodynamically, the Caterham vanity panel made it stand out like a saw thumb. I spoke to John Illey at an engineering show and he confirmed to me that they wanted the airflow to be channeled down the sides of the car. Along with the finger extension and the vanity panel, the car did just that.

​Although there was quite a lot of understeer through low-speed corners, the nose was of an interesting design which did work for the car. Come Spa in 2014, John and his team brought upon a very expensive redesign of the front nose, which saw the finger extension becoming blended into the bulkhead and vanity panel very clearly, which can be seen above where its painted black.

There was a nice inverted “V” shape which decreases drag, but only of a small percentage. This seems to be a way the team wanted air to run laminar to the car before the air is sucked underneath the car, as well as the radiators. The new design would have made it flow into the radiators more, as the blended sections are at the right height to do so.

​​Front wing additions were also made to the car for the Belgium Grand Prix. Changes were made for mainplanes which saw one added, therefore taking the tally up to three. The cascade also changed to a three-tier concept, which also had a turning vane on tap, to help turn more airflow around the front edges of the two tyres. This became a neat front wing, but the addition came quite late, so wasn’t able to claw back the damage from a slow start to the 2014 season. Both Sauber and Marussia were comfortably ahead.

​In the team's base in Leafield, the car lays in its garage slot to be built. Here you can note the pickup points for the upper and lower wishbones, as well as the control arm point for its pull rod suspension set up. With the bulkhead set up to the right. The angled wishbones caused trouble for the torsion bar suspension up front. Which resulted in a difficult heave spring mounting position.

The CT05’s cooling ducts were very large, with the heat exchangers clearly visible here, note the left-hand sidepod has an additional duct at the base of the sidepod opening. This was likely to be related to the energy recovery system on board the car.

Caterham technical director Mark Smith claimed to have worked a lot on the front of the chassis and cooling. “The front chassis height led us to opt for pull rod suspension which gives us the best solution from both a mechanical and aerodynamic perspective for our car. Another focus area was cooling – charge air cooler packaging has driven the cooling architecture and consequently the sidepod and rear-deck bodywork and, at the rear end of the car, our development has been driven by the removal of the beam wing, again as per 2014 regulations, and the exhaust blowing effect we’ve seen in recent years – this has created a challenge to all teams will face, how to recover the rear load generated by those areas in previous seasons, and, again, something that will continue to develop throughout the season ahead.” 

 ​When looking at the chassis, the sidepod turning vanes are generally very similar in design to the 2012/2013 cars from the same firm. Note the new inboard elements on the edge of the cockpit and the sidepod shape. These help keep air attached to the cars sidepod, where the air will be used by the diffuser, tire skirts, y100 winglet and rear wing. They were fairly simple, but as long as there better the than 2011 HRT it's all good.

At Bahrain Caterham opened up its cockpit side cooling gills, running both with an without them. The CT05 used the troubled Renault RS34 power unit, which needed more cooling than either the Ferrari or Mercedes systems. Compare the open (above) and closed configuration (below)

When looking at the Renault RS34 1.6L Turbo V6 engine, it’s easy to note the design applications of its cooling. You can also see the double radiator concept used by the team. The air box was fairly large, as the Renault engine burnt more fuel, so more air was needed to enter the combustion chambers.

​Below shows the whole overview of the engine, energy recovery systems, bell housing and transmission. We can note the simple manifold which was heat wrapped so that heat would not escape from the pipes. This meant the MGU-H or turbine had more heat, so more energy was gained from the spinning fan. You can also see it up close the rear lower side impact structure, which is a hollow carbon pole in the bottom left. As seen above and below.

Some other things of interest on the car are the large exhaust, which site quite high onto on the gearbox, which already is fairly large. The car already had large sidepods, but this was made worse from having both the oil and water coolers mounted on top of the engine. They could have been embedded into the RedBull bell housing. This has been a great success on the 2015 Sauber and McLaren cars.

​Below are the cars manifold as used on the RS 34 engine from Renault. This collects the gasses out of the six combustion chambers of the engine and feeds it to the turbine, which will produce power from the blade that spins. Gas that is not used is allowed to exit the turbine via an exit pipe and the turbo wastage, which feed into the final exhaust tailpipe.

​Below is the car's eight-speed transmission design in CAD form. You are able to note the rear pick up points for the wishbones, and the drive shaft ports too. Amazingly the CTO5 had the clutch, dampers and some of the wiring loom mounted inside the bell housing, with space to spare, so the packaging was not as good as it could have been. The bell housing is highlighted in dark green.

​Below is the official drawing of the car's bell housing structure. The face facing us is where it bolts onto the back of the gearbox, with the face behind bolting the engine onto it. This housed the actuating dampers for the rear pull rod suspension set up. Overall this is quite a simple design but was effective for the car, as we heard no issues with it in 2014.

​The whole of the mechanical setup can be seen below. The transmission is in glossy black, with the bell housing in a cast iron colour. They both have the aluminium outer casing for weight saving. You can note the four bots which fuse it tightly to the engine, and the rear impact structure on the right. The image above has been taken from the PDF files which were sold with the car. This is the first time information has been showed about a modern race car.

​For the cars electronics, which are shown brilliantly from the new cars owner (@kevTs). Under the cockpit seat is a maze of wire and electricity connections for the car. The ECU was mounted in the left-hand sidepod, with the ADS telemetry transmission kit and the SDR unit, which is the little triangular box, with five main connection ports. The cars BF1 ECU for TPMS was there also, with the triangular windform mounted elsewhere. Caterham track engineer Ali Rowland Rouse was able to confirm to me.

Below we can get a good look at the CTO5’s rear wing the leading edge gap is the longest seen yet, and whilst the single element monkey seat winglet is also clear to see. The car often ran four to five endplate louvers to help reduce the drag of the wing.

As with the front suspension, the rear suspension has pullrod actuated dampers. Note the relatively simple rear floor layout, without the cut, outs ahead of the rear wheels seen on other cars. All this can be seen below.

At the Jeez test, a close look was on the cards for the rear, the diffuser design is clear to see, the rear brake duct area has fewer winglets and turning vanes than other rival teams concepts. The exhaust tailpipe is coated in a ceramic thermal barrier coating and just above it part of the turbocharger is visible. We can also see the driveshaft's which are very exposed, which is very rare. The whole rear end of the car and many other details suggest that the CT05 seen in Spain is a very basic specification at this point. This can be all seen below in pit lane.

From a side angle, we can note the Gurney flap that lines the trailing edge of the diffuser, as seen below. On the far left, the leading edge of the rear wing endplate features serrations so that high and low pressure can mix and create a pressure bleed, which is a way of reducing drag. This has been used by RedBull extensively from the past two years. We can also see the leading edge endplate serrations used by the team too.

At the Bahrain test, a look at the thermal protection at the rear of the Caterham was spotted, with a foil on the rear crash structure and wing supports, whilst, even more, ceramic barrier coating has been applied to the tailpipe.

Although 2014 seems a long time, and what was the point of this article, were in 2016? This car showed that you could go racing on a small budget, even compared to Sauber and Marussia. The CTO5 could have been the foundations to a successful team in this new era of hybrid racing. When I was speaking to John Illey, it was money which was the death of this team, which is a great shame. This team could have really gone places.

A big thanks go to @KevTs for allowing me to publish his screen grabs of his new car. He is the new owner and is building the car back to its former glory. Make sure you follow him and the build over on Twitter at @KevTs.

Photos: Lawrence Butcher, Racecar Engineering, Sutton and Kev.