Caterham were once again the best of the new teams during qualifying at Abu Dhabi today. After having beaten by team mate Vitaly Petrov in the last few races, Heikki Kovalainen re-established himself and will start nineteenth for tomorrow. Petrov will start twenty-first.
Kovalainen managed to edge out Marussia’s Charles Pic in the last few moments of Q1.
“I’m pretty pleased with my final lap but I know there was more pace in the car. My first run on the medium tyres was ok but on the second run on the softs I had a problem with the DRS that meant I wasn’t able to really attack the high speed corners and that cost me a bit of time,” he explained.
“Despite that I think we’re looking OK for tomorrow. The balance feels better with the lower track temperatures we had for quali and that’ll most likely be the same tomorrow for the race, so hopefully I can have another good start and see how hard we can push the cars ahead.”
Petrov meanwhile was left disappointed by his qualifying performance.
“Honestly I’m a little bit disappointed with where I’ve ended up in quali today because I thought the car would be a bit quicker than it was. We had a slightly tricky FP3 and tried a couple of setup options to find a good balance and when I went out for my first run in Q1 it didn’t really feel like I could push,”
“It felt better on the softs and on my fastest lap I was looking good up to turn 17 but a bit of traffic after that held me up just enough to cost me time. The good thing is that the car definitely felt better when the track temperatures had dropped a bit so I think we’ll be ok tomorrow,” he concluded.