Caterham had plenty to celebrate after the final race of 2012 as Vitaly Petrov beat Charles Pic to eleventh place, securing the all-important tenth in the constructors’ standings. The Russian battled with Pic’s Marussia throughout before overtaking him through traffic and the late retirement of Paul Di Resta promoted him to eleventh, the best result in the team’s history.
Petrov paid tribute to his Caterham mechanics for their work in such a hectic race which saw weather conditions changing regularly.
“What an incredible race. I’m so pleased for the whole team and I want to thank every single one of them for doing such a fantastic job in the conditions today. Seeing what regaining tenth place in the championship meant to everyone when I got back to the garage was really special and I think we deserve it after all the hard work we’ve put in throughout the whole year.”
“On track it was one of the hardest races I’ve ever been in, but also one of the best. I had a great start, passed a lot of cars and avoided all the problems in turn four, and from then I was pushing as much as I could as the conditions kept changing. We made the right calls today on the stops and every time I came in the boys were perfect. The change to inters on lap 54 is I think what made the difference today. I had a good battle with Pic until the last few laps but then got him into turn three and just pulled away. From there it was all about keeping it on track and when I heard the safety car was coming out and I knew I had one lap left to go it was such a great feeling. Now we can celebrate and everyone has earned it – all the team on track, the factory back in Leafield, our team partners and our technical partners Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology.”
Teammate Heikki Kovalainen didn’t enjoy his afternoon as much with a late switch to full wets proving to be an error, leaving him an eventual fourteenth.
“I’m really pleased for the team today and delighted that we’ve secured tenth place in the championship after a pretty intense race. It was one of those afternoons when anything could have happened and I think it was down to really good work right across the whole team that got us to where we finished today.”
“My race was pretty interesting. I had an ok start and missed the problems on lap one but when we brought both cars in for the second stop there was an issue with my right rear that cost a lot of time and from that point I was playing catch up with the cars ahead. We went onto full wets on the last stop to cover the chance of the rain increasing but there was very little grip until the last couple of laps on that set. Despite that it was all about the final result and it came good right when it mattered.”