Caterham saw both drivers comfortably eliminated in Q1 this afternoon at Hockenheim as Heikki Kovalainen bemoaned the cool, wet conditions. The team have run a package of upgrades since Silverstone but Kovalainen could only manage nineteenth, almost a second slower than Jean-Eric Vergne in front of him. The Finn admitted afterwards that he couldn't have got any more out of the car.
“For where we are right now that was pretty much the perfect lap. I didn't make any mistakes, nailed every apex and had a clean lap, so I'm pleased with what I got out of the car today. Closing the gap to the cars ahead is obviously our target and I think we are still finding out how to unlock the real potential of the upgrade package we first ran in Silverstone. Taking the package as a whole there are a lot of elements we need to get right to really use its potential and I think we still need more dry running to really understand what it will really give us. We'll keep working on achieving that and perhaps we'll see more of its value tomorrow as it's due to be sunny, and in Hungary where the hotter conditions will definitely suit us better than the cold, wet weather we've had in Germany and at the last race in Silverstone.”
Teammate Vitaly Petrov starts alongside Kovalainen on the tenth row of the grid and is hopeful that the car will be stronger in race trim with better weather expected.
“That was a bit of a difficult session after the rain at the end of FP3 changed the track conditions. We were having some issues warming up the front tyres and that, combined with traffic, meant I couldn't really push as much as I had been in the morning session. Despite that, all weekend we've been progressing, doing a good job to push us in the right direction, and tomorrow I think we can do well. We have decent race pace and I think we'll have a good result as we've been showing all season.”
Caterham Group CEO Riad Asmat says the team are still exploring the new updates and has promised a continued improvement tomorrow, and in Hungary next weekend.
“Today's results are not where we want to be. We have been clear since before Silverstone that we need maximum time in the dry to understand how much the extensive upgrade package can give us and the weather this weekend has not helped that. However, we have the race tomorrow where we can definitely put in a good performance in both cars, and then Hungary which will suit us much more than Germany or Silverstone. We will keep fighting, keep working and not stay still – that would be the easy option but we are determined to join the midfield this season and that is keeping everybody motivated through every single lap.”