Caterham enjoyed a solid if unspectacular run at the Belgian Grand Prix this afternoon. Vitaly Petrov was classified as best of the “new teams” and finished fourteenth, whilst Heikki Kovalainen survived clash in the pits and a spin to enjoy a good battle with HRT’s Pedro de la Rosa. He ultimately finished in seventeenth place.
“I had a pretty good race and was pushing as hard as possible all afternoon and I think I finished about as high as we could have expected. At the start I managed to get through the accident without any problems and I was up to 13th, running well,” Petrov said.
“I pitted on lap 12 and had an issue with the release but I managed to stay ahead of the pack chasing us and kept up good pace until the second stop a couple of laps after halfway through the race. We went onto the hard tyres and the degradation rate was good on that set so I was able to push until the chequered flag.”
Kovalainen had a more eventful time of it, as he explained. “I had a really good start, avoided all the debris from the startline crash and was up to tenth when the safety car came out. There were a couple of quicker cars behind me who got past when the safety car went back in and then I made a small mistake at the last chicane which put me back a couple of places but I made them up quickly and was into a good rhythm just behind Vitaly.”
“At my first stop we had a problem with the release from the box and unfortunately I clipped the HRT as I was heading out, bringing me back in for a new front wing. From that point all I could do was try and get back in front of the cars ahead but I had another spin with a couple of laps to go. I still managed to pass one of the HRT’s but with the issues we had today that was pretty much the end of my race.”
“It’s not been a good weekend but we’ll regroup and come back fighting in Italy at the next race,” he concluded.
“Vitaly’s final place of 14th was as much as we could have hoped for today as we have not had the pace in Spa to challenge the cars ahead, but we know what we have to do to improve. Now we have the next race in Monza to work hard to put us some way towards where we should be at this stage of the season,” Mark Smith, the team’s technical director, added.