Caterham's 'just reward' for improved performance
25 June 2012 – Caterham enjoyed a marked performance in Valencia, achieving the kind of pace the team had wished for at the start of the 2012 Formula 1 season. After Heikki Kovalainen made Q2 qualifying on merit, he and Vitaly Petrov raced to 13th and 14th positions on Sunday, with the Russian ahead.
Having made three pit-stops prior to the deployment of the Safety Car, Petrov ran in the points before quicker, recovering cars came through and passed him. Despite this, general confidence levels are up; not only did a new rear wing and several other new parts have a large effect, but a more significant update package comes for Silverstone.
“Our final positions are just reward for a very good performance right across the whole team,” declared Technical Director Mark Smith. “Without the contact with Vergne and Ricciardo, we may have been able to finish a couple of places higher, but we have to be pleased with how we reacted to the incidents and the fact that we have clearly made some gains here.
"We have more upgrades to come for Silverstone and, if we keep up this level of momentum, we have a very exciting second half of the season ahead of us.”
Kovalainen was hit by Jean-Éric Vergne in the braking zone for Turn 12, puncturing tyres on both cars and resulting in a double penalty for the Frenchman. Later in the race, the other Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo turned into Petrov at the right-hander of Turn 14.