Kovalainen strong to 15th, Petrov struggles with KERS issue

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Japan, Circuit Suzukajp

Heikki Kovalainen had a strong race for Caterham F1 as he was long running in 11th place thanks to a solid first stint, and then continued well to finish 15th, ahead of the team's rivals. Vitaly Petrov did well to finish 17th while struggling with a KERS issue that hampered his progress.

Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3, 15th:
Start on soft tyres / Lap 19: pitstop 1, hard tyres / Lap 39: pitstop 2, hard tyres
“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. 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.”

Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2, 17th:
Start on soft tyres / Lap 20: pitstop 1, hard tyres / Lap 43: pitstop 2, soft tyres
“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. 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.”