Caterham arrived at their home Grand Prix in a Bullish mood. A raft of updates have appeared on the car for Silverstone, with Jonathan Iley, stating that he hoped they'd improve the pace of the car by more than half a second a lap.
Unfortunately, tricky conditions in today's qualifying session means that both Caterham drivers were unlucky not to progress to Q2.
It was a positive session for Vitaly Petrov however. The Russian came close to scoring the team's first points in Valencia, and was happy to have beaten Heikki Kovalainen in Q1 to qualify ahead of the Finn.
“I’m almost happy with today’s performance! It’s a little disappointing that we couldn’t show the full potential of the car but it is good that we know the updates are working. That’s obviously important for me, but also for all the guys here on track and back at the factory because we know that we are progressing.
“It looks like it’s going to rain here again tomorrow and again that means we won’t be able to really show what we’ve achieved with the new package and with the summer break coming up in a couple of races time I hope we have a couple of dry races in Germany and Hungary where we can really show how far we’ve come,” Petrov said.
“With the rain I think tomorrow’s going to be a really exciting race for the fans. For us it’ll be about making sure we don’t make mistakes, using the strategy well and keeping the car on the road. If we can do that anything can happen,” he added. Meanwhile team mate Kovalainen blamed traffic for his difficult session.
“Qualifying today was all about trying to get the lap in at the right time. There was a point when the track was drying out and we were thinking about going to dry tyres but then the rain started falling more heavily and I couldn’t quite put my best lap together. I was in a group of cars at the beginning of the session and that cost me a bit of time but other than that there weren’t really any problems, I just don’t think there was any more on offer today with the conditions.”
Mark Smith, the team's technical director, blamed the lack of dry running for a disappointing day.
“I think it is also a shame we have not had the chance to really show what the upgrades have brought to the car. The weather in qualifying affected everyone’s performance and when you see a Mclaren going out in Q1 you see just how unpredictable the rain can make the final positions.”