Caterham: A weekend of real highs and lows
8 July, 2012
Jul.8 (Caterham Press Release) Team and drivers report on the British Grand Prix, Round 9 of the 2012 Formula 1 world championship season, at Silverstone.
Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3: “That was a pretty uneventful race for me. I drove as hard as I could with the car we had today and was pretty much on my own for the whole race. I had a little incident on the first lap but I was able to recover from that quickly and from that point it was just about making sure I didn’t make any mistakes so we could take advantage of what happened in front. It’s a shame for Vitaly that his race ended so early but I think at the next race we’ll be stronger. We’ll have had more time to work on the updates we brought here and hopefully we’ll be able to keep bringing down the gap to the cars ahead.”
Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2: “I am obviously disappointed to have had my race end before I had even reached the grid. The car suffered engine failure on my first lap out of the pitlane and I had to pull it to the side just before the entrance to the pitlane. The crew pushed it back to the garage but it was immediately clear that the problem was terminal and that was the end of the race. These things sometimes happen in racing so there is no point looking back at it – Renault Sport F1 will look at the problem and we know they will work hard to make sure we do not see a repeat of it again.
“Despite the issue today this has been a positive weekend. The car has worked well in each session and I’ve been really pleased with how the engineers and mechanics have helped us keep making steps forward with the setup. Even though we had very limited running with the updates it was immediately clear that we have put more downforce on the car and with more time on track we will be able to work on fine-tuning the setups that will let us get the most out of the car at the next race.”
Mark Smith, Technical Director: “Vitaly unfortunately suffered an engine failure on his first lap out of the pits on his way to the grid and that was it for his race. On Heikki’s side of the garage, once he had passed the slower cars around him he was basically on his own for most of the race. He drove well and did not make any mistakes and that was all we could ask of him today. Now we will go back to the factory and work on all the data we have taken from today and the whole weekend. On Friday we are running the aero test we had to postpone earlier this week because of the weather and that will help us make sure we can optimise the whole package we brought to Silverstone. We know we have progressed but we just were not able to show it today so we will focus on doing so at the last two races before the summer break in Germany and Hungary.”
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal, Caterham F1 Team: “A weekend of real highs and lows, for me and the whole team. Sunday started with an incredible experience when I took part in the Olympic torch relay in Huntingdon. Our team Premium Partner GE invited me to carry the torch and I was delighted to accept such a generous offer. I was also very proud to see two of the key men at QPR join us as guests on track – defender Clint Hill who was our player of the year last season, and CEO Philip Beard. Seeing them chatting so comfortably with everyone in the F1 team shows how close-knit our motorsport and football families are and that is a very special feeling.
“On track the race clearly did not start as we had planned with Vitaly suffering an engine failure before he even reached the grid. It was good to see how well he and the team dealt with that disappointment, especially considering how important it is for us to put the new upgrades through as much track time as we can to really get the most out of them. Heikki drove his usual strong race, pushing from the first lap until the last and the boys in the pitcrew and on the pitwall worked flat out to give him a chance to fight. Once we have been able to get the most out of the updates I know we will take a significant step forwards and that is very encouraging, for me, the team and partners like GE who all share our dream of one day fighting for the top step of the podium.”