Connect with us


Caterham preview 2012 Chinese GP



Heikki Kovalainen: “Next up it’s another couple of back to back races, this time China and Bahrain. We’ll look at Bahrain next week so for now the focus is on China. I’ve been in Abu Dhabi since leaving Malaysia, staying with my girlfriend Catherine’s parents so I can keep up the training regime and avoid the full jetlag that can kick in when you return to Europe. I’m feeling really good, back to 100% after the bug I had in Malaysia and I just want to get back out on track. When we do get back out it will be in Shanghai at one of the pretty standard modern tracks. It’s a mix of low and medium speed corners, a very long straight with a tight corner at the end that provides a natural point to overtake, and a couple of tight fiddly bits you never quite feel like you get completely right. It’s not too hard on the brakes but you need to get the car stable under braking so you can really attack into each braking zone, and you need good traction out of the slower corners to be able to pressure the cars ahead around the whole lap. The key bit is probably into T11, 12 and 13 – making sure you get the braking into T11 right so you can carrry as much speed as possible through 12 and 13 and out onto the straight. Get that right and you give yourself a chance to fight at the end of the straight.”

Vitaly Petrov: “As soon as the Malaysian race was over I headed back to Russia for a few days at home before we get going again in China. I’ve been doing a bit of training, catching up with friends and family and I hooked up with Andrei Arshavin to help launch the new Nike Mercurial Vapour VIII football boots. I’m a big football fan and it’s always good seeing Andrei. He’s obviously having a pretty interesting season with Arsenal and I know he and the whole Russian team are looking forward to Euro 2012 in June. I’ll have to make sure I can fit in watching a few games while we’re at races – I’m in Canada for Russia’s opening game so I’ll have a word with the IT guys to see if they can help me watch it! Next up though it’s China. I’ve been in the points for the last two years in Shanghai and while it would obviously be great to repeat that in 2012 with Caterham I suspect it might be a bit too early in the season for us to get a point in China. It’s not a particularly hard circuit to drive, it’s not too technical but you have to make sure you get it right through the tight section from turns 1 to 4, and the same from 11 to 13 as you head onto the straight. You can make up or lose quite a bit of time in both those sequences and that means setting up the cars to have the right balance between the high speed run down to T14, meaning less drag, and the slower turns in sectors one and three, both of which need much more downforce.”

Mark Smith, Technical Director: “As we head to Shanghai for the third race of 2012 we know that we still have some margin to work on to extract the best from the car and the tyres in both qualifying and the race itself. We have been looking at this in detail since returning from Malaysia and have a number of plans in place to help us move forwards as soon as we get on track in Shanghai. The ambient temperatures in China are always much lower than the last race in Malaysia, although it would not be a surprise to see rain at some stage over the course of the weekend. The layout of the circuit itself makes overtaking quite tricky so it will be interesting to see how much KERS helps us, now we have it here for the frist time, along with DRS this year. The track surface is relatively smooth and the kerbs are generally not an issue in China, so we will take these factors into account when we plan the optimum setups for the weekend. We still have yet to run a dry race in 2012 on a full grand prix circuit which means that we have a limited amount of tyre information for the Chinese GP weekend. That puts a premium on the importance of running tyre programmes in FP1 and FP2 and gives the engineers a lot of work to do on Friday night. Externally, we will be running the cars in high downforce configurations and we have bodywork updates targeted at increased load and more efficient cooling, given the lower ambient temperatures we will to see in Shanghai. China is not especially tough on brakes but we also have a couple of updates in this area.”

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “While the race team has had a very well deserved couple of weeks off since the end of the Malaysian race, the work rate in the factory has intensified as we keep up the development fight off track. This time last year we wanted to bring updates to each race, but we were not in a financial or logistical position to do so. This year we can do just that, and that is another sign that we are going in the right direction. Before the Australian and Malaysian races we had a pretty clear idea of where we would be relative to the other teams around us, and the performances we saw confirmed what we need to do to keep bridging the gap to the cars ahead. Over the race weekends we need to look at improving our qualifying pace, and it looks like we can work more efficiently on maximising tyre performance levels over the whole weekend. Back at the factory the main focus for us is on improving the aero performance of the cars. This is what will give us the chance to fight for the point we want to win, and the fact we can now head into the next two flyaway races with the sort of upgrades we could only dream of last year is a very encouraging sign, and one that shows how hard the whole team is working to help us achieve our goals.”

All material and photos are copyrighted material and owned by their respective owners. Use or depiction of images or trademarks throughout this website is for illustrative and editorial purposes only.Images come courtesy of;,, Sahara,,, Caterham F1, toyota, Sauber, williamsf1, lotus, Marussia, HRT,, getty Images/LAT and AP Photos.

Latest Results

Latest F1 News

2018 F14 hours ago

Race Analysis: 2018 German Grand Prix

  Lewis Hamilton won a chaotic German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring circuit, starting from 14th on the grid, the...

2018 F114 hours ago

Hamilton escapes race ban penalty for pit entry incident

Lewis Hamilton has escaped a race ban penalty following the investigation by race stewards at Hockenheim summoned him over a...

2018 F116 hours ago

Hamilton’s German GP victory under threat

Lewis Hamilton’s German Grand Prix victory is under investigation following the race stewards at Hockenheim summoned him over a possible...

2018 F116 hours ago

Hamilton wins German GP from 14th as Vettel crashes out

Lewis Hamilton started from 14th on the grid to a 66th F1 career victory, and back into the lead of...

2018 F117 hours ago

Race Results – German Grand Prix

2018 F1 world championship results – Round Eleven – Results in 2018 German Formula 1 Grand Prix, Sunday Race results...

2018 F122 hours ago

Mercedes’ paranoia: Blame and Acceptance

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton have had some interesting remarks about Ferrari, after the latter’s spurt in performance at the German...

2018 F122 hours ago

F1 shocked as Ferrari president departs

The F1 paddock at Hockenheim is shocked that Ferrari’s president Sergio Marchionne has suddenly departed the team and formula one....

2018 F123 hours ago

Starting Grid: German Grand Prix

The local hero, Sebastian Vettel took his 55th F1 career pole position in front of his home crowd at Hockenheimring...

2018 F123 hours ago

Alonso says he will leave F1 before 2021

Fernando Alonso says he will not be in formula one in 2021. At Hockenheim, the paddock is abuzz with news...

2018 F11 day ago

Wolff admits Mercedes falling behind Ferrari engine power

Mercedes has admitted it is falling clearly behind Ferrari in engine power. Lewis Hamilton’s main problem in Hockenheim qualifying was...

Most Popular is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media