Changes made to Caterham technical department

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Caterham have confirmed that some slight changes have taken place in the team’s technical department ahead of the new regulations for the 2014 season.

Next year will see the current V8 engines replaced by turbocharged V6 units, which, along with a raft of aerodynamic changes, poses a difficult challenge to every technical team up and down the grid. In an attempt to react to these changes, Caterham have reshuffled the team taking on this task.

Operations director Jody Egginton has been promoted to deputy technical director, working directly beneath Mark Smith, whilst John Iley will now oversee the Advanced Projects Group that looks to bring new innovations into Formula One – a task that could prove pivotal over the next few seasons – whilst continuing in his current position of performance director.

“I am pleased that both Jody and John have agreed to take on the enhanced responsibilities we are asking them to embrace as part of this reorganisation,”  technical director Mark Smith explained in a statement.

“Jody has many years of experience on the pit wall and in the factory that will be invaluable for our team in the latter stages of the 2013 season, and particularly as we head into 2014.

“John’s role will also enable him to take a broader view of all our performance characteristics, and will allow him to innovate – something that is crucial in F1 but which is often difficult to dedicate resource to, particularly for a young team like ours.”

Caterham currently lie last in the constructors’ championship, but having outperformed closest-rivals Marussia since the beginning of the European season back in May, the teams does appear to be on the cusp of recovering P10 in the standings.

Neuville wins Rally Australia; Ogier takes FIA WRC title

Sebastien Ogier. Photo: Getty Images
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COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Belgium’s Thierry Neuville won Rally Australia by 22.5 seconds on Sunday as torrential rain added drama to the last day of the last race of the World Rally Championship season.

Neuville entered the final day with an almost 20 second advantage after inheriting the rally lead Saturday when his Hyundai teammate, defending champion Andreas Mikkelsen crashed and was forced to retire for the day.

His lead was halved by Jari-Matti Latvala early Sunday as monsoon-like rain made conditions treacherous on muddy forest stages on the New South Wales coast. The rain stopped on the short Wedding Bells stage where Neuville was almost 5 seconds quicker than his rivals, stretching his lead to 14.7 seconds entering the last stage.

COFFS HARBOUR, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 17: Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Nicolas Gilsoul of Belgium compete in their Hyundai Motorsport WRT Hyundai i20 coupe WRC during Day One of the WRC Australia on November 17, 2017 in COFFS HARBOUR, Australia. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

That stage was full of incident. The driver’s door on Neuville’s Hyundai i20 coupe swung open in the middle of the stage and Neuville had to slam it closed as he approached a corner.

Latvala’s Toyota then crashed seconds from the end of the stage, allowing Estonia’s Ott Tanak, in a Ford, to take second place overall and New Zealalnd’s Haydon Paddon, in a Hyundai, to sneak into third.

Sebastian Ogier was fourth after winning the final, power stage but the Frenchman had already clinched his fifth world title before Rally Australia began. Neuville’s win was his fourth of the season, two more than Ogier, and was enough to give him second place in world drivers’ standings for the third time in five years.

Ogier owed his drivers’ title to his consistency: he retired only once and finished no worse than fifth all season.

Neuville admitted the last day was touch and go as the rain made some stages perilous, forcing the cancellation of the second to last stage.

“That was a hell of a ride,” Neuville said. “Really, really tricky conditions.

“I kept the car on the road but it was close sometimes. I knew I could make a difference but I had to be clever. You lose grip, you lose control and the car doesn’t respond to your input.”