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2014-01-23 10:10

ALIEN-LOOKING F1 CARS: Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul said new F1 cars look like aliens and reminded him of the movie 'Alien'. Image: Caterham

LONDON, England  - Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul has claimed 2014's Formula 1 cars will look like aliens, their noses 'the stuff of nightmares' that remind him of the movie 'Alien'.

F1 teams will present their cars for the first time in testing at the Jerez race circuit in the south of Spain in January 28 2014.  Some teams are discreetly presenting them online.

Force India released a side image of its VJM07 car January 22 2014 while avoiding a front view. It said the front of the car was a temporary solution and would look very different for the start of the season in March.


Describing the new Caterham, Abiteboul said: "It is going to be ugly. Kids should be dreaming when they see an F1 cars. I don't know what sort of dream or nightmare you will get when you look at those cars. It does remind me of 'Alien'...  It's not very nice."

The technical rules have changed significantly this season and cars have to combine a high chassis and low nose tip, which can be much narrower. There has already been talk of "ant-eater-style" solutions.

Abiteboul said: "I think it's a natural consequence of the regulation and the impact system at the front. It is what it is. Maybe we will have to address that as a collective issue of F1 because we need to be seeing some dream. I think it's going to be a problem for F1 to address."

Formula 1 went through an "ugly" phase in 2012 when cars had stepped noses in response to a regulation change introduced to ensure the high front end could not penetrate a cockpit and injure a driver in a crash. To improve the look, teams were allowed to use non-structural "modesty panels" to cover the broken noses but the rules have changed again for 2014.

Caterham technical director Mark Smith said: "Various solutions have been developed which satisfy the regulations but also try to recover some of the aero performance and that's led to some structures that are a little bit different."

He recognised fans might not find the lack of flowing continuous lines aesthetically pleasing.


He added: "The regulation has obviously driven the tip of the nose down to help in certain types of impact. That has driven some solutions that clearly may not be the solution you'd come up with if you were purely looking for an aesthetic wing."

McLaren is due to reveal its car on its website on January 24 2014, with Ferrari following in similar fashion on January 25  and Sauber on January 26.

Read more on:    london  |  f1  |  mclaren  |  caterham

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