Caterham have brought a new floor to China, and the team had hoped to get good mileage in to gather data on its on-track performance. The weather conditions however partly crossed that target, requiring the team to run on inters in FP1 before being able to gether useful information in the afternoon.
Giedo van der Garde, car 21, chassis CT01-#2: “That wasn’t the easiest first FP1 session for me with the team but I’m pleased with the job I did and have had good feedback from the engineers, so I don’t think I could have done any more in today’s tricky conditions. In general the car balance was good. There’s a lot of traction and the braking stability has improved since the test I did in Spain so it’s good to see the car’s developing well. Bearing in mind the updates we’ve brought here, it’s clear the team is pushing hard to join the fight ahead and I’m glad I had the chance today to help here in China.”
Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3: “A bit of a tricky day and one where I'm not sure how much we've learnt. The conditions this morning meant we didn't learn too much, even though it was good to get some mileage on the inters, and this afternoon I had a few issues trying to find decent grip but we can work on that tonight. I'm pretty certain we can find quite a lot more from the whole package for tomorrow so let's see where we find ourselves when it gets serious on Saturday afternoon.”
Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2: “I had a slightly interrupted session this afternoon with maybe one run lost to an alteration to the front suspension early in the session, but despite that I'm reasonably pleased with how the rest of FP2 went. Tyre degradation doesn't look too bad on either compound and I think we can find more time with some changes to the mechanical grip, so with some hard work tonight I think we can be ok for tomorrow and the race on Sunday.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "The layout of the Shanghai track presents us with a few challenges, particularly in optimising the gear ratios for the very long straight to make sure we can get the most out of DRS in both qualifying and race conditions. The cold, damp weather today also gives us a few issues - the internal parts are under more stress than normal as there is more air going into the engine, particularly at high speed, but I think we have dealt with that well and it hasn't given us any problems. We have also been looking at making sure we give the drivers enough driveability in the first sector, and balancing that against the need for maximum speed on the straight, and from the feedback we have had from all three drivers so far I think we are in the right area."
Mark Smith, Technical Director: “We started with Giedo in for Vitaly this morning and he did a good job in conditions that were obviously pretty tricky. The weather this morning meant we ended up running more than we would have liked on the intermediate tyres and with the new floor we have brought here we wanted to maximise our running on the dry tyres to learn as much as we could about the update on the actual race cars. It is still too early to tell how much the update has given us but this afternoon we were able to run through most of the programme which gives us a useful amount of aero data on the new floor so we will work with the team here in China and back at the factory on that information tonight and see what we need to do to get the most out of it tomorrow and for the race on Sunday.”