Connect with us

Interviews

Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne says about Caterham CT01

Published

on

Can you give a technical overview of what the team has been up to during the winter and where are we on the creation of the CTO1?

Well, in short, we’ve been designing and building our new racing car! Throughout the off-season we’ve been focusing on a number of key elements of the development of this year’s car, including a lot of work on optimising the windtunnel. We have taken into consideration the changes in the technical regulations this year, most noticeably around the nose box and the push-off tests we had to pass. The rules around crash testing now mean that the cars have to be homologated before the first test, which meant bringing forward all the homologation tests by a month to six weeks before T1. From that point of view, we had a very successful development programme and we fully homologated the chassis before Christmas and, actually, I believe we were the first team to pass all the tests.

The design of the car has been progressing since early 2011. It’s the first year of real stability for us on the technical side, and by keeping the Renault Sport F1 engine and Red Bull Technology gearbox, we know exactly what we’re working with and what we can expect. Each year so far we’ve effectively not only had a new design team but also a new gearbox and engine combination. Now, however, we have a very stable design team under our Technical Director Mark Smith, and this means we can take a much bigger step forward in terms of the detail of the design – and that really showed in the homologation process.

The car build has gone very smoothly. The car will be completely ready for the first test in Jerez on February 7th. In terms of aerodynamic development, we’ve continued our programme in Italy but have augmented that with a development programme in the Williams windtunnel, which has significantly increased our resources. All of that means I think we’ll be able to have a better and more competitive car, and we look forward to getting it out, testing it, and proving what the numbers are telling us.

What are the big changes. What should the untrained eye be looking out for?

Aerodynamics is always the main focus of performance and improvement. Last year it was all about the blown diffuser, which we struggled with because not having it in 2010 meant we were always playing catch up throughout the 2011 season in comparison to other teams.

The fact it’s banned this year certainly plays to our advantage. Other teams had so much more development time, they were able to get much more out of it than we were ever able to, so that eliminates a little of the competition in terms of technical development. But really, aerodynamics is always one of the main features of development and that’s why we’ve put so much additional resource into it.

And KERS?

Yes, it’s no secret that we’ll have KERS on the car this year. Towards the end of last year it really started to affect us racing with the midfield cars. It hurt us in qualifying and in our eventual race positions. At the last race in 2011, Heikki made a good start and gained a lot of positions but then lost out by not having KERS.

Having KERS embedded into our 2012 car is another good step forward for us. We had our best ever qualifying in relation to the cars ahead of us in Brazil, and with KERS we could have possibly out-qualified a few of them. So, again, we have another good reason to be very positive about 2012.

What about this nose? It’s creating quite a lot of debate…

Yes, well the regulations have changed to limit the height of the nosebox to try to ensure that noses don’t get too high. Our challenge is that you always want to get the chassis as high as possible to allow clean air flow to the underside of the car, and what you see on the CT01 is our solution to that.

As we’re the first car out it is obviously stirring up a lot of debate, but because of the 2012 regulations I think you’ll probably be seeing this type of nose on most of the cars this year.

What are our targets for 2012?

I think we need to see the car on track first and get feedback from the first tests. Until we run the car, we only have numbers and simulation data to work with. But every team wants to move up the grid and we’re no different. We finished 10th in the last two years, which has been our target, but now I think it’s time we moved forward again. Let’s see what happens we get out on track.

Comments

Latest Results




Latest F1 News

2018 F17 hours ago

Ferrari still has work to do anyway – Vettel

Maurizio Arrivabene looks set to have his contract renewed at Ferrari beyond this year. There had been speculation that, amid...

2018 F17 hours ago

Leclerc ‘does well’ at Ferrari – Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen has wished Ferrari’s new generation of drivers well. The Finn has lost his place at Ferrari for next...

2018 F11 day ago

FIA declare Ferrari suspected Mercedes car is ‘legal’

The FIA has declared the latest configuration of Mercedes’ 2018 car to be legal. Brazil’s Globo reports from Austin that...

2018 F11 day ago

Vettel’s F1 future at Ferrari is suddenly in doubt

Four-time F1 world champion, Sebastian Vettel’s F1 future at Ferrari is suddenly in doubt. The German is currently under pressure...

2018 F12 days ago

Ricciardo’s Renault move ‘a concern’ – Webber

Mark Webber admits fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Renault is a “concern”. Also a former Red Bull driver, Webber...

2018 F12 days ago

Todt visits Michael Schumacher ‘twice a month’

FIA president Jean Todt admits he visits his friend Michael Schumacher “twice a month”. Once the great German’s boss at...

2018 F12 days ago

Pressure got to Vettel in 2018 – Rosberg

Only a “perfect” competitor can knock Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes from their perch at the top of F1. That is...

2018 F12 days ago

Robert Kubica to get $10m boost for 2019 F1 race seat

Robert Kubica’s chances of securing the vacant Williams race seat for 2019 have received a massive boost. Sport Express, a...

2018 F13 days ago

Vettel denies cracking under pressure in 2018

Sebastian Vettel has denied that the pressure got to him in his 2018 title battle. Once ahead of Lewis Hamilton...

2018 F14 days ago

Ricciardo does not want to be the second driver at Red Bull – Valsecchi

Daniel Ricciardo had little choice other than to leave Red Bull. That is the view of Davide Valsecchi, a former...




Most Popular

ThisisF1.com is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

References
We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media