Barcelona Day 1: Caterham report
11 May, 2012
May 11 (Caterham Press Release) Team and drivers review the first day of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Round 5 of the 2012 F1 world championship.
Alexander Rossi, car 20, chassis CT01-#3: “I am very pleased with how this morning’s session went. We completed the program the team had set and I acclimatised quickly to the step up to F1. This isn’t my first time working with the team, I already have a day at the Abu Dhbai young driver test last year under my belt, but coming into a full race weekend is a very different proposition to the young driver test. Today wasn’t about setting the quickest lap I could – there may have been another seven or eight tenths to be found but the main thing today was to learn as much as I could, contribute by following the plan, give the engineers clear, concise feedback, and not make any mistakes. That’s what we did so I think it’s been pretty much as good as it could have been.”
Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3: “A pretty standard Friday for us. We made a couple of setup changes early on in FP2 that improved the balance and I think we’ve ended up closer to where we want to be today. As it’s been all season, tyre management is going to be vital here, especially on Sunday, and from what we’ve seen from the tyre degradation patterns on both tyre choices I think we need to do more work on managing wear rates, but if we can do that I think we’ll be ok tomorrow, and on Sunday.”
Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2: “I’m relatively pleased with today but it was a bit of an odd couple of sessions for us. This morning we did all the runs on the hard tyres and couldn’t really find a balance I could push with, and then this afternoon we managed to dial out the understeer we had on both the hard and soft tyres, but suddenly found we had oversteer that hadn’t been there before. I think this is something that’s affecting quite a few of the teams, and it’s not what we were expecting after the Bahrain race and the Mugello test, but we’ll work on it tonight and I’m sure we’ll find a solution for FP3 and qualifying.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “Despite the fact that Barcelona is probably the track everyone in F1 knows better than any other, it’s still a good challenge for us to come back here for the race. We tested here for two weeks in February but the weather conditions were obviously cooler then which means we have to run different engine maps to account for the increase in temperature. Those maps have worked well today and we’ve seen the sort of results we expected from the overall engine performance. This is also the first time we can compare KERS data with information generated at the same track back in February, and with the experience we have now of using KERS in the first four races we can see we’re much closer to optimising its performance over the whole weekend. These are a couple of the areas we’ve been concentrating on in the lead-up to this weekend, and for both sessions today, and from the drivers’ initial feedback on the engine performance I think we can be pleased with what we have achieved today.”
Mark Smith, Technical Director: “I think we have made good use of both sessions today. Alexander Rossi took part in his first FP1 session for us this morning and did a very good job, working through a program that was looking at a number of rear wing options that gives us more information to work on in addition to the data we generated in Mugello last week. This afternoon Heikki was back in his normal car and he and Vitaly concentrated on tyre work, looking at degradation levels on the soft and hard compounds we have available to us this weekend. There is quite a big time difference between the two types of tyre which will make strategy in qualifying tomorrow very interesting, and will put the onus on Sunday on the drivers looking after the wear rates as much as possible.”