F1: Caterham axe technical director Mark Smith in attempt to address disastrous start to 2014 season

Smith has been replaced by a new committee tasked with overhauling rivals Marussia

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The Independent Online

Caterham have axed technical director Mark Smith and formed a new committee in a bid to address their disastrous start to the year.

The Leafield-based marque find themselves languishing at the foot of the constructors' championship, with their car noticeably slower than that of close rivals Marussia.

That has led to Smith's departure and the formation of a technical committee that will oversee all technical and operational aspects of the team's activities on and off track.

Caterham have confirmed Smith will not be directly replaced, and instead John Iley, Jody Egginton and Gerry Hughes will now each take responsibility for specific areas of the team's activities.

Iley, previously performance director, is now head of performance engineering; former deputy technical director Egginton is now head of design and manufacturing, whilst Hughes, who joined early this year as chief engineer has become head of track operations.


Team principal Cyril Abiteboul said: "It was obviously a tough decision to see someone of Mark's calibre go.

"But we have identified the need to restructure as a key aspect of increasing our on-track performance. Forming a new technical committee will allow us to do exactly that.

"After investing last year in our new factory, and over the winter in aerodynamic development capacity, the new structure gives three specialists we are lucky to have with us the opportunity to use their experience, passion and dedication to help us progress.

"We are not happy with our current performance levels and John, Jody and Gerry, with my full support and that of our shareholders, staff and partners, are the right people to help take us forward."