Caterham: We have not helped ourselves with a number of avoidable errors
2 September, 2012
Sep.2 (Caterham) Team and drivers report on the Belgian Grand Prix, Round 12 of the 2012 Formula 1 world championship, at Spa-Francorchamps:
Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-3: “I had a really good start, avoided all the debris from the startline crash and was up to tenth when the safety car came out. There were a couple of quicker cars behind me who got past when the safety car went back in and then I made a small mistake at the last chicane which put me back a couple of places but I made them up quickly and was into a good rhythm just behind Vitaly. At my first stop we had a problem with the release from the box and unfortunately I clipped the HRT as I was heading out, bringing me back in for a new front wing. From that point all I could do was try and get back in front of the cars ahead but I had another spin with a couple of laps to go. I still managed to pass one of the HRTS but with the issues we had today that was pretty much the end of my race. It’s not been a good weekend but we’ll regroup and come back fighting in Italy at the next race.”
Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-2: “I had a pretty good race and was pushing as hard as possible all afternoon and I think I finished about as high as we could have expected. At the start I managed to get through the accident without any problems and I was up to 13th, running well. I pitted on lap 12 and had an issue with the release but I managed to stay ahead of the pack chasing us and kept up good pace until the second stop a couple of laps after halfway through the race. We went onto the hard tyres and the degradation rate was good on that set so I was able to push until the chequered flag.”
Mark Smith, Technical Director: “Both cars started on the medium compound tyres and did well to pick their way through the damaged cars after the first corner accident. We had issues at both Vitaly and Heikki’s first stops but both cars had clean second stops and the pitcrew did well to put the problems behind them and make sure we did not repeat the issues in the second round of stops. Vitaly’s final place of 14th was as much as we could have hoped for today as we have not had the pace in Spa to challenge the cars ahead, but we know what we have to do to improve. Now we have the next race in Monza to work hard to put us some way towards where we should be at this stage of the season.”
Riad Asmat, Caterham Group Chief Executive: “This has been a tough race for the team and it is fair to say we have not helped ourselves with a number of avoidable errors costing us over the weekend. Both Heikki and Vitaly have given as much as they can and we need to make sure we give them the platform to reward the efforts they are making. It is good that we have the next race back to back with Spa as it gives us the chance to regroup and sign off the European season on a positive note and that is the clear objective next weekend in Monza.”
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