Caterham’s sporting director Steve Nielsen expects the wider of package of upgrades that the team first trialled on the CT01 at the Mugello test to reappear on the car at some point in the forthcoming races, when he also thinks John Iley’s impact will begin to be felt.
The Norfolk-based outfit tested a number of updates, principally a new exhaust layout, on the car at Mugello the week before the Spanish GP but only a new rear wing survived for the race weekend after the team didn’t find sufficient performance gains. Nielsen admits the team had to “short-circuit” some of its usual procedures in order to be in a position to track test the full package at Mugello but says those remaining processes are now being completed back at its factory with a view to the package being used again.
“We did the Mugello test before Barcelona and we had a sort of a choice,” Nielsen explained. “Normally we have a set process that we use before parts are put on the car. We had to short circuit a lot of that in order to put it on the car in Mugello. We took the decision to do that; had we done our normal process we’d we would have simply missed the Mugello test. Unsurprisingly [in] that situation some of them didn’t work because it was a package of updates that we took to Mugello that didn’t work as a package.
“Most of that didn’t go to Barcelona, but we did take some of it – the rear wing for example – and that worked well. But what we need to do now is to put that package through the proper process and with input from John Iley, which will be great, then I’m sure it will reappear on the car when it is ready to do so.”
Former McLaren and Ferrari aerodynamicist Iley has recently officially taken up the role of performance director at the team and on Thursday was on hand at Duxford Aerodrome to oversee a straight-line test with the CT01 (pictured), the team Tweeting that it tried out different ride heights, front wing sweeps and rear wing comparisons, along with some flow structures. Caterham has remained in the relative ‘no man’s land’ it ran in last season so far in 2012 but Nielsen is confident with the input of Iley and further new recruits there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic.
“Unfortunately at the moment, although we’ve got lots of promising things coming, that’s where the performance of the car is. We wish it were different and we’re working hard on it being different, but we’ve really just got to grin and bear it for the next few races until obviously the updates come along and the input of John Iley and the other people who have joined the team recently really start to show themselves on the car,” he said.
Nielsen added that the team “have some more downforce coming” onto the CT01 for next week’s race in Monaco, although stressed the updates were “not big ones”.
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