Vialy Petrov, Caterham F1 Team

Monaco Grand Prix 2012 – FP3 & Qualifying

Caterham F1 Team Partner information
Like the British Royal wedding in 2011, CNN also broadcast Prince Albert’s Royal Wedding in Monaco to a huge global audience

FP3: Dry, sunny, air temp 24°, track temp 31° – 35°
Quali: Dry, sunny, air temp 23°, track temp 39°

Fastest laps / positions:
FP3: KOV 1.17.276, 17th / PET 1.17.404, 19th
Q1: KOV 1.16.538, 18th / PET 1.17.404, 19th

Total laps:
FP3: KOV 25 / PET 22
Q1: KOV 13 / PET 13

Runplan – FP3
Heikki Kovalainen
1100 – 1102: Installation, 1 lap (prime tyres) 
1102 – 1112 System checks. Changes: front / rear brake blanking 
1112 – 1122: Run 2, 7 laps (prime tyres)
1122 – 1127: Changes: front wing flap angle, front / rear brake blanking
1127 – 1137: Run 3, 6 laps (option tyres)
1137 – 1142: Changes: front / rear brake blanking
1142 – 1158: Run 4, 11 laps (option tyres)
End of session

Vitaly Petrov
1100 – 1102: Installation, 1 lap (prime tyres) 
1102 – 1110: System checks 
1110 – 1121: Run 2, 7 laps (prime tyres)
1121 – 1132: Changes: front / rear ride height, front torsion bar
1132 – 1141: Run 3, 6 laps (option tyres)
1141 – 1146: Changes: front wing flap angle
1146 – 1158: Run 4, 8 laps (option tyres)
End of session

Runplan – Q1
Heikki Kovalainen
1401 – 1406: Run 1, 2 laps (option tyres) 
Red flag
1406– 1410: Refuel
1410 – 1419: Run 2, 6 laps (option tyres)
1419 – 1421: Refuel
1421 – 1427: Run 3, 5 laps (option tyres)

Vitaly Petrov
1401 – 1405: Run 1, 2 laps (option tyres)
Red flag
1405 – 1410: Refuel
1410 – 1419: Run 2, 7 laps (option tyres)
1419 – 1421: Refuel
1421 – 1427: Run 3, 4 laps (option tyres)

Team Quotes

Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3: “That was a good session for me. I’ve had a good balance all weekend and I went into this session knowing I could push. I’d said to my engineer before quali that I thought we could get into Q2 and we were very close – if it hadn’t been for one of the Marussia cars slowing me up in the final sector we’d have been there, but it’s not a huge issue, that’s what happens in Monaco.

“Around here I think tomorrow we have the car to be able to fight the cars ahead throughout the race. So far this season we’ve been able to stay with them for pretty much most of the first two stints, but  because it’s a shorter lap here we’d like to be able to fight for the whole race. Whether it’s dry, wet or in between, it doesn’t really matter to me – whatever happens I’m looking forward to it.”
Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2: “That was pretty good – the car’s felt good every time we’ve been out and I think we probably got as much as we could out of it today. We had an issue with KERS this morning so we had to shut that off for quali, so that obviously cost me some time, but we worked around that and pushed as hard as we could in Q1 so it worked out as well as we could have hoped.

“The red flag obviously disrupted everybody and even though I’d got a lap in before the session started it wasn’t a quick one. When I went out again the second set of tyres didn’t feel quite as good, but all in all it’s been a positive weekend so far. Tomorrow will be exciting and I’m looking forward to it. We’ve already seen that people can make mistakes here so we want to make sure we’re there to take advantage of whatever happens on track and fight to the flag.”

Mark Smith, Technical Director: “This has been a good weekend for us so far, and today’s performance is another step in the right direction for us. Heikki put in another very good lap and had it not been for traffic he would probably have been into Q2. On Vitaly’s car we had a KERS problem at the end of FP3 so we had to switch that off for qualifying and that clearly cost him some time. Despite that he drove very well and continues to reward the team with maximum effort every time he’s in the car.

“Tomorrow is a chance for us to race the cars ahead for longer than we have been able to so far this season, so both drivers and the whole team are up for the challenge. The weather could play a major factor here and we are prepared for whatever it throws at us – hopefully we see an exciting race and we will aim to get both cars to the chequered flag to capitalise on whatever goes on up ahead.”

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “I am delighted to be back in Monaco and to see the whole team in such good spirits. We have increased the size of the QPR logo on the cars this weekend and I am very pleased to see that the same fighting spirit that helped the football club retain their Premier League status is alive and well in the Caterham garage. When the team sees both drivers giving everything they have got behind the wheel it makes the long hours and the hard work, here on track and back at the factory, all worth it.

“Despite the fact Heikki was held up by the Marussia we keep edging closer to the long-term goals. We have the right people in the factory and in the race team, the foundations have been laid for us to maintain the progress that has seen us close the gap to the midfield to the point where we are talking about Q2 in Monaco as a realistic proposition and we have the hunger to succeed. I do not want to make any predictions for the race tomorrow, but in our two previous seasons here we have performed extremely well, so that has to be the aim for race day. We have two drivers who know how to mix it in the midfield pack and the engineers and mechanics to use pitstop strategy to the best effect, so I would like to see us have a problem free race and who knows what might happen.”