Kovalainen: Caterham will beat Marussia
5 May 2013 – Caterham reserve driver Heikki Kovalainen has claimed that the Leafield-based squad should move ahead of key rivals Marussia once the European season starts, with a scheduled package of major upgrades to be added to the CT03 chassis at next weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.
The outfit has struggled this season with the inexperienced pairing of Charles Pic and rookie Giedo Van der Garde, and currently sits last in the Constructors Championship after being consistently outpaced by the former-Virgin team in the opening races.
Having been dropped at the end of last season following three years with the perennial backmarkers, Kovalainen has been drafted in by boss Tony Fernandes to provide feedback and help aid the development of the car. The Finn took part in FP1 last time out in Bahrain, and commented that the CT03 was harder to driver than its predecessors.
"I could feel that the car is more difficult to drive than it was at the end of last year," he told Sky Sports. "Of course things have changed, tyres have changed, the setup has changed as a result and mainly because of these two things the car has become a bit more difficult to drive.
"On the other hand I could feel there was more we could use in this car and I felt that after driving the car we should be able to beat Marussia and now with the updates coming we should be in a position to beat them."
The one-time Grand Prix winner also moved to dispell rumours that the loss of his race seat was due to a falling out with Fernandes, and revealed that the pair had stayed in contact via text messages whilst Pic and Van der Garde were struggling to get up to speed.
"No it is false - I never fell out with him," the 31-year-old said. "I didn't agree with what they were offering me this year, I didn't agree with Tony on that, but I never fell out with him. Then at some point, I think it was at the Australian Grand Prix in qualifying when the weather was quite tricky, I sent a message to Tony and said 'I would have been in Q2,' and then we started discussions about it again and he said 'would you like to come and test our car'."
Kovalainen will take to the cockpit once again in Catalunya during Friday's first practice session.