During the first day of the new winter test session at the Circuit de Catalunya, Caterham F1 Team driver Vitaly Petrov got behind the wheel for a long day of testing. The Russian managed to work through the whole tyre program and put in some solid lap times.
Vitaly Petrov: “Today the car was working very well from the first installation lap and right up to the final lap this afternoon. We managed to work through the whole tyre program and put in solid lap times all day, as well as working through a number of other setup programs that are helping me find the right balance I can really push with. My race seat will be in the car for Sunday so I think we can make more progress then, when I know I’ll be fully comfortable in the car, so I hope we can build on what we have done today over the next couple of days and leave the test in very good shape for the first race.”
Mike Gascoyne, Caterham Group Chief Technical Officer: “That was an excellent day for us, despite the very late change of driver we had to make this morning. We ran 123 laps and completed the whole program and even though we will not have Vitaly’s race seat ready until he is back in the car on Sunday, he was much more comfortable in the car and improved his times and his feedback throughout the day.
“This morning we were focusing on further tyre evaluation and setup work, and in the afternoon session we completed a number of long runs which has helped us take a step forward with the setup options for this car. Taking into account the number of laps we ran today, and the fact Vitaly is feeling ever more comfortable with the team and in the car I think we can say that this has been the perfect start to the test for the whole team.”
Riad Asmat, Caterham Group Chief Executive Officer: “A good day for us – the sort of day that gets us right back on track with preparations for the first flyaway races. Vitaly did a very good job for us, stepping in a the last moment to replace Heikki who has been suffering from food poisoning today, so thanks to him for putting in a faultless day in the cockpit. I also want to thank the team at the factory and here on track for the hard work they have all put in to fix the reliability issues that we had to deal with last week. Quite a few of the team have been in Spain for over two weeks now, covering the first test in Barcelona, the aero test we ran earlier this week and now the final test, so to see the step up in performance and reliability is a good testament to the dedication and perseverance of everyone involved in our team, here in Spain and back in the UK.”