Caterham F1 drivers Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen qualified in 19th and 20th positions respectively for tomorrows British GP. With the weather playing such a major role in today's performances, the team could not yet show the improvements from the newly introduced car updates.
Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3, 1.49.477, 20th:
“Qualifying today was all about trying to get the lap in at the right time. There was a point when the track was drying out and we were thinking about going to dry tyres but then the rain started falling more heavily and I couldn’t quite put my best lap together. I was in a group of cars at the beginning of the session and that cost me a bit of time but other than that there weren’t really any problems, I just don’t think there was any more on offer today with the conditions.”
Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2, 1.49.027, 19th:
“I’m almost happy with today’s performance! It’s a little disappointing that we couldn’t show the full potential of the car but it is good that we know the updates are working. That’s obviously important for me, but also for all the guys here on track and back at the factory because we know that we are progressing. It looks like it’s going to rain here again tomorrow and again that means we won’t be able to really show what we’ve achieved with the new package and with the summer break coming up in a couple of races time I hope we have a couple of dry races in Germany and Hungary where we can really show how far we’ve come.
“With the rain I think tomorrow’s going to be a really exciting race for the fans. For us it’ll be about making sure we don’t make mistakes, using the strategy well and keeping the car on the road. If we can do that anything can happen.”
Mark Smith, Technical Director:
“Qualifying sessions like that are always a lottery and I think we were unlucky not to be able to take advantage of the weather conditions. Despite that, both drivers performed well and made sure they did not make any mistakes which could have cost us tomorrow. I think it is also a shame we have not had the chance to really show what the upgrades have brought to the car. The weather in qualifying affected everyone’s performance and when you see a Mclaren going out in Q1 you see just how unpredictable the rain can make the final positions. In FP3 we were also running the cars in their new guise for the first time on dry tyres and we spent most of that session working on baseline setups to optimise performance on both the prime and the option tyres. Once we have found a balance the drivers are happy with we know there is more to come from the new package so that is very encouraging, and with the direction we have take on setup for tomorrow I think we are in a good position to put in another strong performance on race day.”
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal:
“Even though we have not yet been able to show how much of a step forward we have taken this weekend with the car’s performance I think it is clear how much progress we have already made this season. Once we have had the chance to put all the new parts through the test processes we need to on track to unlock their full potential I think our development will be even more clear.
“In the practice sessions last year we were around four seconds off the outright pace and this year we were two seconds away, with a car that we know has more pace in it so I am delighted to see where we are approaching the mid-point of the season and even more pleased to see how positive the whole team is about our continued growth.”
FP3: Overcast, dry, air temp 16° - 18°, track temp 17° - 24°
Q: Wet, air temp 15°, track temp 18°