‘Uneventful’ Canada passes by for Caterham

10:47 11 June 2012

Caterham

Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen prepares for the grid in Montreal. Photo: Charles Coates

LAT Photographic

Heikki Kovalainen admitted Canada was uneventful for Caterham as the Hingham outfit came home well clear of Marussia but still off the midfield pace.

The Finn finished 18th, only 13 seconds behind Bruno Senna’s Williams and with team-mate Vitaly Petrov not far behind – as well as two laps clear of Charles Pic.

A fortnight’s gap takes the teams to Valencia for the European Grand Prix next, and with a solid weekend and another two-car finish in the bag, Caterham can still consider Montreal a job well done.

Technical director Mark Smith said: “Today we saw good strong races from both drivers and solid work in the pit stops without any issues.

“The final positions were about where we expected on this type of track at this stage of the season, so I am happy that we have had another decent Sunday and continue to have problem free Sundays and keep edging ever closer to the midfield.”

A 20-car finishing field was something of a rarity for the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and ensured Caterham did not get the chance to make any further progress in either championship standings.

“That was an uneventful afternoon for me,” admitted Kovalainen, who qualified 17th. “I had a good start, passed Senna early on but then struggled a little with the tyres which maybe held me up a bit.

“Our pace today was not quite what we thought it would be and we were being lapped a little earlier than we had anticipated, but that was really the only issue for me – other than that it’s been a good weekend.”

After Valencia comes Silverstone, and with some promising upgrades set for that weekend Caterham remain in positive mood.

Petrov added: “For me that was a good race. I battled with my team-mate right to the flag and had a couple of good stops that gave me a chance to keep the pace up through the whole race.

“We didn’t have any problems with the car, so for where we are right now that’s a good afternoon’s work.

“We have some improvements coming in the next few races and the aim is for those to help us get to a point where we can race one or two of the teams ahead – that’s another positive sign of progress so we’re definitely going in the right direction.”

Caterham did well to ensure Kovalainen had track time in both Friday free practice sessions, after smashing his CT01 into a wall at the end of the morning.

“On Friday we saw just how well the team in the garage perform under pressure and I was very proud of the work they did to repair Heikki’s car and make sure he had track time in FP2,” said chief executive Riad Asmat.

“With the upgrades we have in the pipeline I think we could soon be in a position to maintain the sort of early pace we showed on Sunday for the whole race.”

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