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2012 Caterham 'a bigger step'

ESPNF1 Staff
January 11, 2012 « Barcelona could consider future | HRT looking for young second driver »
Mike Gascoyne says the new Caterham "will be a much more current car" than the T128 © Getty Images
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Caterham technical director Mike Gascoyne believes that the 2012 car will see the team making more progress than it did last winter.

The team debuted as Lotus Racing in 2010 and ran what Gascoyne admitted what was a "very basic" car as it finished best of the new teams. In 2011 the team was rebranded Team Lotus and ran the T128 which it hoped would bridge the gap to the midfield. While progress was clearly made, Lotus still had to be content with 10th in the constructors' after never being in contention for points.

For 2012, however Gascoyne told Sky Sports that he was "excited" that the new car would be a bigger design improvement once again.

"I think it will be a much more current car than the last two cars we've been able to design," Gascoyne said. "It's probably a bigger step forward compared to the 2011 car. In 2010 our car was obviously very basic because we didn't have much time to do it and we always said the 2011 car would be a big step forward. What's exciting for me is that the 2012 car is probably a bigger step forward in terms of refinement of design than we made in 2011 (over 2010)."

Having shown a competitive level of improvement throughout 2011, Gascoyne said the aim was to replicate those strides this season but from a stronger starting base.

"In the last race (of 2011) I think we qualified four-tenths away from Williams. We did that in a car without KERS - and that's probably the difference between KERS. We finished at the back of that midfield pack. I think we want to start there, maybe even a bit better than that. If you look at the year last year, we started a second-and-a-half off and we finished four-tenths off that pack. We want to start with that pack and make that same level of progress."