Caterham had hoped for big gains in today's race at Silverstone following a major upgrade package to the car. However, the team's two drivers, Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov endured very different afternoons.
Like the hundreds of thousands of fans at Silverstone, Petrov was forced to become a spectator after an engine failure on the way to the grid. After a strong day yesterday in which he managed to out qualify his more experienced team mate, the Russian was left bitterly disappointed.
“I am obviously disappointed to have had my race end before I had even reached the grid. The car suffered engine failure on my first lap out of the pitlane and I had to pull it to the side just before the entrance to the pitlane. The crew pushed it back to the garage but it was immediately clear that the problem was terminal and that was the end of the race.
“These things sometimes happen in racing so there is no point looking back at it – Renault Sport F1 will look at the problem and we know they will work hard to make sure we do not see a repeat of it again,” Petrov said, but praised the team for the effort they have shown this weekend.
“Despite the issue today this has been a positive weekend. The car has worked well in each session and I’ve been really pleased with how the engineers and mechanics have helped us keep making steps forward with the setup. Even though we had very limited running with the updates it was immediately clear that we have put more downforce on the car and with more time on track we will be able to work on fine-tuning the setups that will let us get the most out of the car at the next race.”
Kovalainen did manage to get to the finish and was once again the best of the “new” teams in seventeenth place.
“That was a pretty uneventful race for me. I drove as hard as I could with the car we had today and was pretty much on my own for the whole race. I had a little incident on the first lap but I was able to recover from that quickly and from that point it was just about making sure I didn’t make any mistakes so we could take advantage of what happened in front,” he said.
“It’s a shame for Vitaly that his race ended so early but I think at the next race we’ll be stronger. We’ll have had more time to work on the updates we brought here and hopefully we’ll be able to keep bringing down the gap to the cars ahead.”
“We know we have progressed but we just were not able to show it today so we will focus on doing so at the last two races before the summer break in Germany and Hungary,” Mark Smith, the team's technical director added.