A productive Friday for the Caterham squad, who felt they accomplished all of the first day goals as they nearly ran race distances for the days total. And even though their programme was slightly affected by rain, everything still worked out and the drivers are feeling upbeat.
Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3: “Both sessions today were pretty good. Even though it was business as normal, 58 laps on a Friday is decent mileage, even with the rain interruption, and we’ve managed to get through the test programme we’d set for both sessions.
“Times-wise it’s too early to say where we’re at this weekend. Hopefully we can have another dry session tomorrow in FP3, and who knows what will happen during the race. The trick is not to make any mistakes in either session tomorrow and put ourselves in as strong a position as possible for the race on Sunday so we can have a good result ahead of the August break.”
Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2: “Overall it’s been a pretty positive day. We managed to complete a good number of laps in both sessions, despite the rain in the afternoon, and the times today show that we’re getting back to where we want to be, relative to the opposition.
“I was particularly pleased with the time I produced on the soft tyres in FP2 and I think it shows that we’ve made some progress. The rain obviously affected us the same as it did with everyone in FP2 but we made the call to go out on the inters and managed to get some good information on those tyres and the setup we might consider for Sunday, if the forecasts about rain are right. All in all, it’s been a good day and I’m looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "The Hungaroring circuit is one of the slowest tracks of the season, with low power sensitivity. The average speeds around the track are approximately 180kph and there are only two parts of the track where we use top gear - the start-finish straight and the 790m straight between turns three and four.
"The second sector is the most complex part of the track and is where significant lap-time can be won and lost. It is taken mainly in third gear and the cars do not reach more than 245kph. Many drivers comment that the corners link together and having a good flow through each corner helps save time. To do this it is vital that the cars are set up correctly and that is an important area for us to focus on with the team, to make sure Heikki and Vitaly can attack that sector as much as possible.
"We have a number of other considerations at the Hungaroring, particularly around the atmospheric conditions we face. The track is set in a very dusty amphitheatre and the levels of airborne dust and sand are very high, especially after a predominantly hot, dry Friday. The airborne dust particles could be extremely damaging for us as they are very abrasive for the engine internals, however our high grade filters help us minimise damage. The other issue in Hungary is the high air temperatures which over the past few years have been around the 30°C mark, putting an emphasis on efficient cooling solutions. As this is such a 'start-stop' circuit, there is little time for the engine to 'breathe' and this also affects the fuelling strategies so today we have been working hard with the team on making sure we give the drivers the optimal engine package to take account of all these considerations."
Mark Smith, Technical Director: “I am pleased with what we have accomplished today. In FP1 we ran our normal Friday morning programme and both drivers completed their runplans for that session. In FP2 we put the Valencia-spec aero package on Heikki’s car so we could run back-to-back tests with the package introduced in Silverstone. Development opportunities on track are obviously extremely limited and as part of the development plan we had targeted this race some time ago to run direct comparisons with the new parts, and FP2 in Hungary gave us the perfect opportunity to run those tests. Now the team on track and back at the factory will look through all the data we have generated achieved today I think this has been a very useful exercise for us.”