Caterham: We are not happy with where we are this weekend

1 September, 2012

Sep.1 (Caterham) Team and drivers report on qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, round 12 of the 2012 F1 world championship, at Spa-Francorchamps.

Team Quotes

Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-3: “It’s been a bit of a tricky day. In FP3 the car had quite a lot of understeer early on but we managed to dial that out towards the end of the session. By the time FP3 finished the car felt ok but I was having issues with DRS and that was obviously costing me laptime. In qualifying I had traffic on the first run and couldn’t lap as fast as I wanted to on the outlap. The tyres weren’t quite up to temperature and that left me with one lap on that run to put in a time but with the tyres not where we wanted I wasn’t able to get in a quick time. On the second run my outlap was much better but the only problem was with the DRS again. The guys had worked hard to fix it but it was still struggling to open and I could feel that in the car. Whenever I hit the button it felt like it wasn’t fully activated and around a track like Spa that’s going to cost you time. In the end the last lap put me into our usual position and for where we are right now that’s about as good a performance as we could hope for.”

Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-2: “I had a pretty decent qualifying session and I’m pleased I could get that last clear lap in as the session ended. On my first run in quali there was quite a lot of traffic and that may have cost a bit of time, but I think I got as much out of the car as I could today, so for me that’s ok. The race tomorrow looks like it will be dry but even with a clear track there are always surprises in Spa so I want to make sure I have a good clean race and can take advantage of anything that happens ahead.”

Mark Smith, Technical Director: “FP3 was a busy session for us and we ran through as much of the programme carried over from yesterday as we could. Heikki’s car had a DRS issue so we tried to resolve that before qualifying but it was not 100% successful and he went into Q1 without the full benefit of DRS. In qualifying we opted for two runs on the medium tyres and ended the session in positions that are probably an honest reflection where we are in performance terms this weekend. Despite that, we can have a positive race tomorrow and we will redouble our efforts to find more pace, for Monza, Singapore and the rest of the season.”

Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: “It is fair to say we are not happy with where we are this weekend in terms of outright pace. Everybody in the team is working extremely hard to keep making progress but it is clear that we have a lot more work to do to put us back in the position we should be which is challenging the teams in front, not looking over our shoulders. I know both drivers and the whole team will give maximum effort tomorrow to make sure we have a positive race but we will not be happy until we have clawed back the gap to the cars in front.”

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