Both Caterham drivers are taking plenty of positives from today’s Bahrain Grand Prix after Vitaly Petrov finished the race sixteenth, with team-mate Heikki Kovalainen one place behind.
“That was a really interesting race, particularly at the start when there was a lot of overtaking and it was good to be right in the middle of the early battles,” said Petrov. “We made some very good pitstops, quicker than in China and good enough to help me stay out ahead of Ricciardo who I had a good battle with for quite a lot of the race.
“It was only towards the end when we had to let the leaders pass that we started losing a bit of time but today's performance shows again how strong we can be on Sundays.
“This has been a good weekend all round and a great way to end the first four flyaway races. We have a couple of weeks now until the next race in Spain and we'll head there feeling very positive about how we keep progressing.”
Things were not quite as plain sailing for Kovalainen however. A puncture on the first lap left the Finn on the back foot at the beginning of the race, but he sounded fairly satisfied with his afternoon.
“I had a good start but then had contact with a car behind in turn 10 which caused a rear left puncture,” said Kovalainen. “We pitted immediately and from then on it was basically about putting in as strong a race as I could. I passed Glock quickly and pulled out a good gap to him and then went after my team mate and Ricciardo.
“It's obviously a bit frustrating to have had the puncture on the first lap, but we can take a number of positives from this weekend, particularly from the pace we showed in qualifying and from the way we were able to look after the tyres, so overall it's been pretty good.”
Caterham Technical Director Mark Smith said that the team were happy with their race today, and is optimistic that things will get better from the next race onwards.
“We can be pleased with today's performance from both cars,” he said. “Despite the puncture Heikki suffered on the first lap he put in a very strong drive all afternoon and Vitaly was also racing Ricciardo hard for most of the afternoon.
“This shows we are definitely making progress, and our qualifying performance yesterday gives us good reason to look forward to the European season which starts in two weeks in Barcelona.
“We have a number of updates planned for the next few races, and more to come throughout the season, so we will aim to keep building on this type of performance and keep edging closer to the teams ahead.”