Caterham has confirmed it has started work at the Leafield Technical Centre where the Formula 1 team will move later this month.
The team, currently operating in Norfolk, England, will start moving to the ex-Arrows and Super Aguri base following the Hungarian Grand Prix. The factory will be the new base for all the Caterham arms, including the F1 team, Caterham Racing (GP2), Caterham Cars, Caterham Composites and CTI (Caterham Technology and Innovation). A renovation of the factory has now started, the team has confirmed.
Caterham's technical director Mark Smith is hopeful the move will not affect the team's performance on the track.
"We don't expect a great deal of disruption," Smith said. "If you think about the race team, it can go anywhere in the world and be fairly self sufficient, so that side of the business moving to Leafield I don't see as a big issue.
"The side of the business that [includes] our IT infrastructure in terms of design, CAD systems and dynamics, we should be able to do that physical move and get the infrastructure up and running. We use the second wind tunnel at Williams – so we are closer to that, so that helps. It is really the manufacturing aspect of it, and what we plan to do is leave a reasonably strong core of that at Hingham [Norfolk].
"The primary structural composite side of the business, the bit that we regard as important to have on site, will be at Leafield, but there will be a manufacturing base at Hingham as well. We are thinking it will be fairly painless."