Lotus have confirmed that leading aerodynamicist John Iley is to become the team’s performance director. Iley joins from McLaren where he was head of aerodynamics and will start work with Tony Fernandes’ squad - to be known as Caterham next season - in June 2012.
Iley will head up all aerodynamics, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and related activity for the Lotus team, reforming the successful partnership he previously enjoyed with chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne at Jordan and Renault F1.
“We are absolutely delighted that John has taken up the challenge we have offered him, to help take us to the next level on and off track in one of the key areas of performance in Formula One,” said Riad Asmat, Caterham Group CEO.
“It is a real sign of our growth and development as a serious contender for long-term honours that we can attract someone of John’s calibre and we are all very excited about the contribution he will make to our future success from the moment he starts work with our team.”
A graduate of Imperial College, London, Iley made his start in motor racing with Brun Technics, a British design office working for the Eurobrun F1 team and worked on the design of the Brun-Judd C91 sports car during 1990. Early in 1991 he was hired to be the aerodynamicist on the Allard J2X sports car and then joined Jordan Grand Prix in 1995 as an aerodynamicist.
By 1998 Gascoyne had also joined Jordan and promoted Iley to chief aerodynamicist where they worked together on the team’s most successful F1 chassis before both moved to Renault F1 in 2002. From there Iley moved to Ferrari and finally McLaren.
“John greatly contributed to the aerodynamic capability at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes but has taken the decision to accept an offer from Caterham F1 team for 2012 and beyond,” commented McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh. “We enjoyed working with John and wish him well for the future.”