The slow release of images showing the new Caterham F1 challenger last week revealed some noticeable changes for 2012 — so what are the key things to look out for as other teams reveal their cars this week?
Perhaps the most distinctive visual element to the new Caterham is at the front — with the distinctive and ugly nose treatment.
Car noses in F1 have risen in the last decade or more as teams try to steer as much clean air as possible under the car to help maximise the downforce generated by the floor.
The increasing height has led to potential danger for drivers, however, and the FIA have put a stop to it with a new rule forcing the nose to be lower ahead of the front bulkhead (just in front of the suspension).
But rather than creating a smooth angled rulebox from nose to cockpit, there is a step transition at the bulkhead. This will allow teams to continue running the high chassis sides - which help prevent dirty airflow from going under the car - right up to the bulkhead and that results in an odd accentuated dropdown to a platypus nose.
The lowering of the front nose section will increase blockage of the flow stream underneath, so expect more teams to also move towards big fat front pillars — as used by Mercedes last year — to help encourage flow from the central section under the floor.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely any of this year's cars will take a different approach - so expect a field of ugly ducklings.
Further back on the car, there has been a dramatic a 'nip and tuck' approach in recent years, with sidepods being squeezed ever inwards at the bottom and bulging out higher up as teams tighten their cars' waistline to improve airflow to the rear diffuser.
The ban on blown diffusers will significantly reduce the amount of downforce available from that part of the car, and despite the issues of raising the centre of gravity, the need to recover this is likely to see all teams continuing to run sidepods with more up top than below.
The Caterham displayed this in the launch pictures and other launch cars will too - because as a fundamental part of the car structure, the sidepods and their crash protection structures cannot be easily and quickly changed, so teams will not be able to hide them from view. Also, if anyone does come up with an innovative solution, other teams will not be able to copy it quickly.
To further free up this area, Toro Rosso ran a radical double floor and Williams had a slim and low gearbox last year — so you can expect more radical approaches than Caterham's as this area will have had a lot of R&D done on it by the big boys.
OUTS AND INS
The new exhaust regulations now define an area in which the pipes must exit, but this is likely to be an area that will see significant development from the moment the cars hit the track — particularly in terms of the way in which the flow is directed.
The rules leave quite a bit of scope for varied alternative approaches here, and although off-throttle blowing is banned there will still be downforce gains to be had from blowing exhaust over the rear wing or into other areas of the car when on the throttle.
There is, however, nowhere to hide - so any successful solutions should be relatively easy to copy.
Because of this, any team that believes it has found an innovative approach in this area will be unlikely to reveal it on their launch car and will then face a delicate balance between revealing it too early and having it copied, and running it too late to iron out any potential issues.
The air intake area around the roll hoop has also been undergoing some major slimline development and this is likely to continue this year — with even bigger undercuts beneath the roll hoop helping to steer the flow smoothly around what is a big blockage section on the car.