Caterham F1 Team today opened the doors of its base at the
Leafield Technical Centre to team partners and invited media ahead
of the first F1 test of the 2014 season at Jerez.
With a raft of new technical changes to F1's rules for 2014, the
team took the opportunity to showcase the developments at Leafield
that will help it tackle F1's biggest changes in recent memory
since it moved the team to the Oxfordshire site in August 2012.
In addition, Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul and Caterham Group
Co-Chairman Tony Fernandes used the event to highlight a number of
significant milestones in the ongoing growth of the team,
specifically a renewed, uprated partnership with Dell / Intel, the
start of the team's new wind tunnel program at Toyota Motorsport
GmbH (TMG) in Cologne, Germany and the introduction of new branding
across all Caterham Group companies with immediate effect.
Cyril Abiteboul: "We were pleased to see so
many important team partners and media join us today at Leafield
for an event that we think only our team would do at this, the
busiest time of any F1 team's year. We are in the final stages of
the 2014 car build program and the whole factory is working at
maximum capacity to prepare for the first test at Jerez and
tests two and three in Bahrain.
"There are numerous changes to the rules for 2014 and we wanted
to bring people into our factory to help explain how we've tackled
those rule changes, and demonstrate how the investments made by our
shareholders and our partners are helping us prepare for the most
important season in our still-young life.
"Among the news we could share were two very significant deals
that will definitely pay dividends for us in 2014 and for years to
come - the first being our renewed partnership with Dell / Intel,
the second being the migration of our wind tunnel program to the
TMG facility in Germany.
The two deals are linked as part of our new deal with Dell /
Intel is a major upgrade to our HPC (High Performance Cluster), the
supercomputer that powers all our IT needs. We are delighted that
Dell / Intel have renewed their support for us as they have been a
partner of ours in the truest sense of the word since the first
days of the team. Now, among numerous other benefits, with the
upgrades they are making to our HPC we have a dramatically uprated
CFD capability, something which will be particularly important with
the rule changes governing wind tunnel usage in 2014.
"In addition, we are moving our wind tunnel program to TMG in
Germany. The TMG facility allows us to run at 60% scale, more than
the 50% scale we have been using to date, and that has obvious
benefits in increasing the accuracy of the data generated in the
tunnel. Ally that to our increased partnership with Dell / Intel
and it's safe to say our design office now has an IT infrastructure
and wind tunnel that are on a par with any team in F1."
Mark Smith, Technical Director: "Over the last
year significant investments have been made across the team which
put us in the strongest position we've been in since the team first
started in 2009. In addition to our new wind tunnel program at TMG
and our uprated HPC, through our renewed partnership with Dell /
Intel, we have continued to invest in our human resource and
welcomed a number of new people who are have all immediately made
major contributions to key areas of the team.
"Among the main structural changes we made last year was
promoting Jody Egginton to Deputy Technical Director and welcoming
Hari Roberts who joined us in early 2013 as Head of Aerodynamics.
Late last year we also had Paul Cusdin join us at Leafield as Head
of CFD to strengthen our CFD team, an appointment that will help us
maximise the value of the renewed partnership with have with Dell /
Intel. The ongoing support of our shareholders and our partners has
helped us reach the strong position we now enjoy, and further
progress, in terms of personnel, resource and infrastructure, will
be made throughout the year ahead."
Tony Fernandes, Caterham Group Co-Chairman: "It
has been a good day at Leafield and I am pleased to see how
determined everyone is to make progress this year. 2013 was a tough
season - we knew it would be hard and we took a gamble which,
ultimately, did not pay off, but nobody's heads dropped, every
single person in the team is working harder than ever to come back
fighting, and I believe that this year we have our best ever chance
of surprising a few people.
"One change that will be immediately obvious is the introduction
of our version of the Union Flag to all our brand platforms. This
is our Caterham-coloured Union Flag emblem and it is our
celebration of Caterham's British heritage. The Caterham brand has
been in existence for more than 40 years, and, in simple
terms, is a brand that puts smiles on people's faces. It is a proud
British brand, one that celebrates Britain's engineering prowess,
and we, in turn, are proud to showcase our British heritage.
"This is an exciting time for Caterham across all our interests;
our F1 team is embarking on its fifth season with everything in
place to make serious progress this year. On the roads, Caterham
Cars goes from strength to strength, winning universal praise for
launching its fastest ever road car, the 620R, and the same acclaim
for our lowest-priced model, the 160. We also have our road car
partnership with Renault, which started in F1, and that is now
firmly into the development phase of our first product which will
be on the roads in early 2016.
"In late 2013 we launched Caterham's first two-wheeled ventures
- Caterham Moto Racing Team, which will compete in its first Moto2
season in 2014, and Caterham Bikes - an innovative new company that
launched three new roadbikes in Milan in November 2013. CTI
(Caterham Technology & Innovation) is involved in a number of
fascinating projects, many of which we cannot talk about for
confidentiality reasons, but there is a team in Hingham where CTI
is based, working very closely with Caterham Cars and Renault on
our new road car, bringing their skill set to bear alongside a
major international car manufacturer.
"Caterham Composites, our specialist composite design and
manufacturing consultancy in Germany, is also working on a range of
concepts, including a project with Airbus Group on new, lightweight
aircraft seats. The benefits of that project are obvious, and they
are a good example of how we are creating innovation and revenue
across the group. Finally, Caterham's interests in the marine
industry continue to grow, and, through Caterham Challenge, we are
actively involved in another sport we work in.
"Overall, this is an incredibly exciting time to be part of
Caterham in all its guises. I am very pleased to see that companies
of the stature of GE, Airbus Group and Dell / Intel continue to
share our vision and I am excited about seeing how much further we
can grow in 2014. A big year lies ahead of us, in F1 and all our
interests, and I firmly believe that we will look back on 2014 as
the year the Caterham story really began."
Follow us on twitter.
Share your view of each race and get updates from the pits.
Like us on facebook.
Share your view of each race and get updates from the pits.
See our stream from behind the scenes.
© 2014 Caterham F1 Team
Leafield Technical Centre Langley
OX29 9EF Oxfordshire United Kingdom