Caterham: A shame for fans that we had such limited running
6 July, 2012
Jul.6 (Caterham Press Release) Team and drivers review the first day of the British Grand Prix weekend, Round 9 of the 2012 Formula 1 World Championship, at Silverstone.
Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3: “I think that’s the wettest day we’ve had in F1 for quite a while and that cut short the amount of running we could do today. It was pretty treacherous out there in both sessions, more so in the afternoon when I was getting wheelspin at the end of the straight and when it’s like that it’s not worth risking the car, particularly when we have quite a lot of new parts on it that we need to take a look at as much as we can this weekend.
“As it was so wet I can’t really say how much of an improvement we’ve made here, but this morning the car felt pretty well balanced as soon as I started to push a bit, so if it’s raining like this on Sunday at least we know we have a decent setup to race with.”
Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2: “This morning Heikki and I were running comparisons between the new exhaust layout and rear bodywork so my first taste of the new parts was in FP2 when it was even slippier out on track. Even with conditions like that we still got through a few laps and the car felt good – pretty stable, good traction and a good base for us to work from tomorrow. It would be good for everyone if it is more dry tomorrow but even if it’s not we’ll just have to get on with it. I like the rain so for me it’s not a problem.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “Silverstone is a power circuit, one where the drivers should spend up to 64% of the lap on full throttle in qualifying. Obviously the weather conditions today meant that the challenges for us on the engine side change, and we have to work very closely with the team’s engineers to decide what gear ratios will give us maximum performance in what could be a dry qualifying session, but a wet race.
“Today we have also been working with the team on optimising engine performance with the updates that have been brought to this race. The main area of focus for us is the revised exhausts, a version of which were first tried at the test in Mugello but which have been revised and refined since that test and require a series of new engine maps that help the driver optimise all the performance characteristics of the engine around this circuit. The immediate feedback we have had from both drivers is positive so, despite the weather today, this has been another good day for us and the whole team.”
Mark Smith, Technical Director: “It is obviously a shame for the fans and the teams alike that we had such limited running today, but the conditions were so bad in both sessions that the risk of accidents was too high for us to run any more than we did today. Despite that we were able to complete a number of useful tests this morning, running comparisons between the new upgrades we have brought here with the package we raced in Valencia. That gives us a relatively decent amount of data to go through to understand what sort of gains we have made, but the initial numbers are encouraging.”