Looking at the performance of the Caterham team from the first four races, the team has taken a small step backwards and are still chasing their first points. According to team principal Tony Fernandes, the results are looking ‘encouraging’ but admits that there is still a lot of work to be done.
“We head back to Europe after what has been an encouraging first four races for the team,” said Fernandes. “We may not have quite bridged the gap to the midfield pack yet, but we are clearly much closer than we were this time last year, particularly on race day when we have seen clear evidence of the progress we have made.
“Having been with us for four races now, I am very pleased with the job Vitaly has been doing for the team. He is obviously a fighter and he is pushing his team mate well, especially on Sundays, and that is good for the whole team. I think Heikki is due a run of better luck in the races as he has been pushing extremely hard in qualifying, particularly to get himself into Q2 in Bahrain, but he has not had the same luck when the lights go out on race day. Hopefully that will change in Barcelona and we will be able to see both cars fighting to the chequered flag on Sunday.”
“Barcelona’s a good circuit where the main challenge is to nail everything absolutely perfectly. If you make a half a tenth of a mistake it can cost you a grid position and it’s a race weekend where you have to focus on the details to give yourself the best chance of success. It’s a track with a lot of high-speed corners, some where you have to be really on it to save time, and you have to be pretty committed going into the braking zone in T1 as that’s where there is an overtaking chance. For the fans it’s often a pretty quiet race because it’s a tough circuit to overtake on, but that makes qualifying even more crucial and means you have to get the plan on Saturday absolutely right.”
Last year Vitaly Petrov placed his Renault in 6th place for the race, in which he ended just outside the points in 11th. And this year, it will be harder to get into the points, he admits.
“After a good test in Mugello we are all looking forward to getting back to racing in Spain. Barcelona is a track I know well and one I like racing on. I was on the podium there in GP2 in 2009 and while I know that’s out of reach for us at the moment, we will all be focusing on continuing to take the fight to the cars ahead and repeating the sort of performances we’ve put in so far this season, particularly on Sundays.”