It has been a busy couple of weeks for the Caterham F1 team, but the effort and long hours will all be worth it if the Hingham operation can land its first point in the top flight.
A week of announcements - including a promotion for chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne, a tie-up with Arden which will see Caterham run in the World Series by Renault for the first time and, most recently, confirmation that Vitaly Petrov would be replacing Jarno Trulli in the second car - have kept the squad in the news, but all that was going on behind the scenes as the boys on the front line returned to track action in southern Spain last week.
After a winter of waiting - and pre-season preparation - four days in Jerez signalled the start of hostilities for 2012 as pre-season testing allowed the teams to stretch their legs and, in most cases, put valuable first miles on new cars. Caterham was no different and, having been the first to unveil its 2012 challenger thanks to a tie-in with a British racing magazine, it was also the first on track as Heikki Kovalainen wheeled the CT-01 out of the pit-lane as soon as the lights went green.
Track time, however, is only part of the testing story, as Caterham press officer Tom Webb revealed in a new column for Britain's Sun
"It's a brutal start to the season for everyone who has to travel to and from each test and then arrive at work in the dark each day, only leaving up to 18 hours later to grab some sleep," he wrote, "But the tests are critical for the teams to iron out all the problems that could bring the cars to a halt when it matters over a race weekend, and learn how to get the ultimate performance out of them.
"Testing is usually cold, the hours are insane and it can be pretty monotonous. But we wouldn't change it for the world. It's F1 and it's mega. At least, that's what we tell ourselves every time the going gets a bit rough!"
Much has been made of the work the Caterham team was able to complete in the four days at Jerez, with Heikki Kovalainen running the opening two days before reserve Giedo van der Garde and veteran Trulli rounded out the session. With good mileage borne out of good reliability, there were plenty of satisfied faces in the camp.
"Most of the team who were in Jerez are already sporting bags under the eyes, [but race engineer] Gianluca Pisanello summed up the feeling in the team when he tweeted 'best first test I have ever been at'," Webb continued, "Gianluca usually tweets about how boring the journey home to Norfolk is, so that tweet proves what a good first week on track we have had!
"The mood in the camp is good. The 2012 car ran just over three times the number of miles at the Jerez test than at the same session in 2011. And this year's car looks like a big step forward.