Caterham: Our early pace was good and we used the tyre strategy well
13 May, 2012
May 13 (Caterham Press Release) Team and drivers report on the Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona, Round 5 of the Formula 1 world championship.
Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3: “I think we got as much out of the car as we could this afternoon. I had a good start, passed Senna and was hanging on to the pack ahead up until the second stops. The first stint on the options was good, and we stayed on the soft tyres right up until the last pitstop but maybe the last stint on the hards was a couple of laps too long. Still, it was a decent race and we showed we have decent pace on Sundays, more than enough to easily pull away from the teams behind, but not quite enough to be able to fight throughout the whole race with the cars ahead. We knew this track was going to be one of the tougher ones for us, but now we go to Monaco which will give us a chance of fighting higher up, so we’ll keep pushing to close the gap and aim to take another step forwards at the next race.”
Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2: “I’m pleased with how I drove this afternoon and, like Heikki, I don’t think we could have got much more performance from the car today. Yesterday we found a good KERS map for qualifying but this afternoon it wasn’t working as well in the first and second stints, and I think that’s where we lost some time to Heikki. The tyre degradation was higher than we’d seen in the long runs in practice, so we need to look again at why that happened and how we can fix it for future races. Apart from that it was one of those afternoons when we got as much out of the race as we could so now we’ll move on to Monaco where the circuit layout and the difficulty of passing should give us a better chance of pushing the cars ahead throughout the weekend.”
Mark Smith, Technical Director: “I am pleased with the performance from both drivers today. They kept pushing throughout the whole race and made sure they didn’t make any mistakes, particularly at the start of the race. Our early pace was good and we used the tyre strategy well to keep ourselves within touching distance of the midfield pack, but again we saw the issue with blue flags, having to let the cars ahead pass articifially lengthened the gap to the cars we had been fighting with, but we have to deal with that on tracks like this where we knew we would be lapped at some point. We now have a busy couple of weeks before the next race, with an aero test in the UK, part of the program that is helping us keep edging closer to the midfield, and we will go to Monaco, hopefully aiming to repeat the sort of performance we saw last year when we finished 13th and 14th.”