Heikki Kovalainen was impressed with the new Circuit of the Americas even if he didn’t have the smoothest of days on Friday. The Finn suffered a puncture in the afternoon after tangling with Jean-Eric Vergne but was generally satisfied with the day. He also praised the new track despite finding the going tough first thing this morning.
“The first lap we did in FP1 was on a track that probably had less grip than anywhere else I’ve ever driven! As we’re at a new circuit that was to be expected but the track layout lived up to expectations – it’s a proper driver’s track and as it keeps evolving it’s going to get even faster which will give us a chance to really find out what it’s all about.”
“In the morning session we were mainly focussed on the normal P1 program, running through baseline setups and aero work and then in the afternoon we went onto more tyre work and longer runs on both compounds. We need to work on improving the grip levels but I’m ok with where we ended up and with the amount of information we have from both sessions I think we can find more time tomorrow.”
Caterham teammate Vitaly Petrov also had the odd problem during the day with tyre temperature one of his issues, although he certainly wasn’t alone in that respect. Petrov was two places behind Kovalainen in 21st and admits he has work to do before qualifying.
“I’m really enjoying my time in the US! It’s my first time in America and as soon as I arrived I spent some time walking around Austin and found it’s a great city, really cool. In P1 we had to make a couple of minor changes to the floor but it didn’t hold up the program too much and we found an OK balance relatively early on. In the afternoon we had the first runs on the medium tyres and then put in a lot of laps on the long runs. We definitely need to do some work on how we can get more heat into the tyres and how to improve the rear of the car but we’ll work on that tonight and hopefully have a better day tomorrow.”