Caterham Positive Despite Q1 Elimination


Heikki Kovalainen - Photo Credit: Caterham F1 Team
Heikki Kovalainen - Photo Credit: Caterham F1 Team

 

Caterham were keen to take the positives from today's qualifying session despite failing to get either car through into Q2. Heikki Kovalainen will start 19th, one place ahead of teammate Vitaly Petrov, and was over a second away from the cut-off point but revealed he came across traffic which prevented him from improving on his last attempt.

“I’m reasonably positive about today. We didn’t get everything we could out of the car in Q1 but it felt better this afternoon than it did in FP3 and on my last quick lap I was held up by an HRT which probably cost me something like six tenths, but around this sort of circuit that’s one of the issues you have to deal with. There are quite a few positives to take out of today, the main one being that we know we’re much closer to the cars in front than where we finished last year, and now we have KERS and a better package overall, so I think tomorrow’s race could be really interesting.”

Petrov was three tenths slower than the Finn this afternoon and admits he is still discovering more about the Caterham CT01 with every lap he completes.

“For me that was an ok qualifying, maybe not quite what we had hoped for but we know there’s more to come. We obviously lost time yesterday, and today the performance run was cut short in FP3 with a hydraulics issue, but I pushed as hard as I could and I think my engineer and I are finding out more about how to fine tune the setup for me every time I go out on track so the more time I spend in the car, the better I’m feeling.”

Technical Director Mark Smith doesn't believe the qualifying result reflects the progress made by the Hingham outfit and hopes the team can do better in tomorrow's race.

“There are always pluses and minuses with sessions like today’s qualifying. In FP3 Vitaly had a hydraulics leak on his car that was fixed before the afternoon session, but it cost us time we wanted to spend on his qualifying setup, and both cars then went into Q1 with a good balance, but our final positions are probably not really a fair reflection of where we are in terms of the gap to the cars ahead. We have a solid plan to keep improving the key areas of the car’s performance and I think we can look forward to a more competitive display in tomorrow’s race.”