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His seat under threat, Vitaly Petrov was the fastest Caterham in qualifying (Photo Credit: Caterham F1)
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Petrov Heads Kovalainen In Caterham Battle

Caterham re-established themselves as the quickest of the “new” teams in F1 today as Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen qualified eighteenth and nineteenth on the grid for tomorrow’s Korean Grand Prix.

Vitaly Petrov’s future has been called into question recently after reports emerged that the backing he has received from Russia has stopped. Today however, he put himself firmly in the shop window for teams next year as he out qualified team mate Kovalainen.

“I’m really happy with the performance today. I’ve had a couple of problems on the car that has cost me track time this weekend but the team have worked really hard to keep us moving so thanks to them for helping me get the most out of it in all three practice sessions and in quali today,” he said.

“My last lap was really good, probably as quick as we could go around here. We timed it right so traffic wasn’t an issue and to finish over a second clear of the cars behind is good for the whole team. We haven’t stopped pushing and the aim now is to have a clean start tomorrow and try and carry over this sort of performance into Sunday’s race.”

Kovalainen meanwhile, was left less happy by today’s performance.

“I’ve struggled all weekend to find a setup I’m happy with and that continued today in qualifying. We went for three runs, one on the softs and two one lap runs on the supersofts to help try and find a balance but it just wasn’t there today.”

“On my last lap in Q1 I still had understeer in the last four corners – perhaps without that I’d have been able to find a bit more time, but it just wasn’t there. Tyre strategy tomorrow will be key. We saw last weekend in Japan that we can fight in the early stages of the race so let’s see if we can turn the weekend around in the race,” he concluded.