Caterham enjoyed a solid if unspectacular run in Japan to see both cars to the chequered flag once again this season. Heikki Kovalainen was able to capitalise on the first corner carnage to finish fifteenth, with team mate Vitaly Petrov finishing seventeenth.
“I had a fantastic start, avoided all the problems in turn one and passed Glock as soon as the safety car came out. I was running really well in 11th until the first set of stops and in that first stint the car felt great,” Kovalainen said.
“I was keeping the pack behind me and tyre wear on the softs was good. We went onto the hard tyres for the second stint and, again, wear rates were excellent. We were even thinking about doing a one stop race but towards the end of the stint they started to go off so we came in with ten laps left and from there it was all about making sure we got to the flag without any problems,” he added.
“At the start I had to avoid the problems in front but got through that ok and pretty quickly settled into a good rhythm. My first stop was fine but after that we lost KERS and that obviously cost me time,” team mate Petrov said.
“I also had a problem with the radio and couldn’t hear the blue flag calls and that ended up with the drive-through penalty. From where I started on the grid and with the KERS issue I think I probably got as much as I could out of the car today. It’s been a bit of tough weekend but it’s good to see the team working so hard to keep pushing us forwards and next week in Korea we have another chance to keep fighting.“