Caterham has introduced its new F1 Performance Director, John Iley, with an interview on the Caterham F1 website.
Iley is one of many established names to have joined Caterham F1 (formerly Team Lotus) since their re-introduction in to Formula One in 2010. He has a strong pedigree with stints as a senior aerodynamicist at Ferrari and Renault during their championship winning seasons among other credits.
Following on from Mike Gascoyne and Mark Smith, Iley, who was confirmed as the squad’s Performance Director in December last year, will take up his role as head of aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) this month.
Iley has spent his life surrounded by the automotive industry, in which his Father was also an employee. This inspired him to undertake a University course in engineering and make the step in to motorsport thereafter. “As an automotive engineering graduate from Lanchester Polytechnic in Coventry, I was hired by Brun Technics and worked on the 1990 design of the Judd-powered Brun sportscar. In 1991, I became the aerodynamicist on the Allard J2X World Sportscar Championship prototype and the Spice sportscars”. Iley said, in an interview with the Caterham F1 team website.
Since then Iley has gone on to work in Indy Car and more recently F1, providing aerodynamic structure for Jordan, Ferrari and McLaren. “When an advert for a senior aerodynamicist at the Jordan F1 team cropped up in Autosport, I applied. I was successful and stayed there from 1997 until 2001. I was made Head of Aerodynamics in 1998 – and we won our first race that year, which was pretty great!…This was when I first met Mike Gascoyne, Mark Smith and a few other people who I’m now working with”. Added Iley.
Caterham F1 have had a troubled start to their 2012 campaign, not meeting the standards they had predicted pre-season, with their main highlight coming from Heikki Kovalainen reaching the second phase of qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix. There has been much made of the rear-end of this year’s cars, most notably the exhaust outlet and counteracting the loss of last year’s exhaust-blown diffuser. With Iley on-board Caterham now have some much valued experience in gaining the largest possible advantage from the air-flow around this area.
John Iley calls himself a “racer at heart” and believes his competitive nature is what drives him to succeed in producing race cars. “It’s a love of cars, a love of sport, just the whole technical challenge of trying to put a group of people and a group of ideas together, and to do a better job than other people – that’s appealing”, concluded Iley.
For the full interview from Caterham F1 Performance Director John Iley please follow this link: http://www.caterhamf1.com/news/2012/introducing-performance-director-john-iley