FP1 / FP2 Report – Friday 16th March 2012

Team Quotes

Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3: “The car felt good from the first proper run this morning and we found that the baseline we had set over the winter carried over exactly as we had planned into today’s practice sessions. It’s a shame that the conditions today meant that we couldn’t test the tyres more, but that’s the same for everyone, so the main thing was that we had a good balance all day, and kept improving the setup in both sessions. It’s also good to see that the new spec front wing that we ran both this morning and this afternoon is giving more grip overall, so that’s another positive step forward and puts us in good shape for tomorrow.”
 
Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2: “That was a reasonable day for me. The weather meant we weren’t able to try too much with the setups and we had a small problem this morning that cut short the final run, but one of the main things for me today is that I feel very comfortable with the team. We’re quickly building up a good relationship between me and the engineers and the mechanics, so as that keeps growing we’ll be able to get more out of the car and keep finding the pace that we know this car has.”
 
Mike Gascoyne, Caterham Group Chief Technical Officer: “Obviously the weather today made it a potentially difficult first day, but we got through most of what we had planned and it’s good to see that Vitaly was comfortable in the car from the first laps this morning. We ran all the tyre compounds bar the options today so we have some useful data to go through tonight and overall I think we look ok. It does look like the midfield group is going to be very tightly packed and I hope we can have a dry qualifying session tomorrow to find out just how competitive we can be.”
 
Riad Asmat, Caterham Group CEO: “It’s good to be back racing, and I think we can be pleased with the job we did today in pretty tricky conditions. We had a small issue with Vitaly’s car at the end of FP1 that the team worked very well on to fix in time for FP2 and I’m pleased that both drivers did exactly what we asked of them today – making no mistakes and getting as much out of their cars as they could without pushing too hard and putting themselves in a potentially difficult situation.

“We obviously can’t tell too much from the times today but it is encouraging to see that we are lapping consistently in the sort of times we have been aiming to. Now the focus turns to tomorrow when we will hopefully have more dry running and find out just where all the hard work over the winter has put us.”

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Weather
FP1: No rain during session, wet track at start, drying out during session, track temp 21° – 23°, air temp 20° – 23°
FP2: Rain in early part of session, drying out, air temp 21°, track temp 24°

Fastest laps / positions:
FP1: KOV 1.30.586, 17th / PET 1.31.983, 20th
FP2: KOV 1.31.932, 8th / PET 1.32.767, 13th

Total laps:
FP1: KOV 16 / PET 8
FP2: KOV 16 / PET 15

Runplan – FP1
Heikki Kovalainen
1231 – 1233: Installation, 1 lap (wets)
1233 – 1332: System checks. Changes: front / rear brake blanking, brake balance, front wing flap angle
1332 – 1346: Run 2, 8 laps (primes)
1346 – 1351: Changes: new spec front wing, brake balance
1351 – 1403: Run 3, 7 laps (primes)

Vitaly Petrov
1232 – 1234: Installation, 1 lap (wets)
1234 – 1331: System checks. Changes: front / rear brake blanking, front wing flap angle
1331 – 1346: Run 2, 7 laps (primes)

Runplan – FP2
Heikki Kovalainen
1713 – 1725: Run 1, 7 laps (inters)
1725 – 1745: Changes: front / rear brake blanking, new spec front wing
1745 – 1800: Run 2, 9 laps (primes)

Vitaly Petrov
1709 – 1713: Installation, 1 lap (wets)
1713 – 1716: Changes: brake balance
1716 – 1724: Run 2, 4 laps (inters)
1724 – 1744: Changes: new spec front wing, front wing flap angle, front brake blanking, brake balance
1744 – 1800: Run 3, 10 laps (primes)