Vitaly Petrov took the honours in the inter-team battle at Caterham in the United States Grand Prix, comfortably beating Heikki Kovalainen to seventeenth spot. The Russian maximised his one-stop strategy and was pleased to see the whole race go as planned beforehand.
“For me that was just about as much as I could get out of the car today so I’m pleased with how it went. The start was pretty crazy, everyone on cold tyres going into turn one with a load of cars going off track, but I got through cleanly and as soon as my tyres came up to temperature I pulled away from the cars behind pretty comfortably. We’d planned to do just one stop and it was timed perfect, the boys got me out quickly when we switched to the hard compound so it all went as we wanted. The tyre degradation was also pretty low – we’d seen from the long runs on Friday that it wouldn’t really be a problem, but apart from a small vibration I had from the brakes for the last third of the race, it was a good afternoon without any issues.”
Kovalainen was eighteenth following a late battle with Marussia’s Timo Glock, including an incident which was investigated by the stewards, and the Finn also felt he got the most out of the CT01.
“That was one of those races where we probably couldn’t have got much more out of the car. I’ve had issues all weekend with getting heat into the front tyres and it was the same again today for the first few laps. At the start I made up one place and then passed Glock pretty quickly and from there it was relatively easy to control my pace for the rest of the race. The stop went fine, the pitcrew did a very good job today, and apart from the tyre issue, it was about as much as we could have hoped for.”