Caterham F1 Team
Monaco Grand Prix 2012 - FP1 & FP2 report
FP1: Dry, sunny, air temp 22° - 23°, track temp 28° - 33°
FP2: Overcast (start), rain (intermittent) air temp 23°, track temp 31° - 26°
Fastest laps / positions:
FP1: KOV 1.19.039, 18th / PET 1.19.341, 19th
FP2: PET 1.18.440, 18th / KOV 1.20.029, 21st
Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3: "This morning's session went pretty well. We tried a new suspension part early on that felt pretty good, and then we ran through a normal FP1 session on the primes until the engine let go as I was entering the tunnel towards the end of the session. As soon as I engaged neutral the rear axle locked up and that brought FP1 to a slightly early end. In FP2 everyone had the same issues with the rain and even though we got a couple of laps done on the supersofts I didn't have a chance to put in a flying lap on those so we'll have to look at that again on Saturday. We made the final run on the inters and coming into turn five the car went straight on - it was very greasy out there but there was no damage so I parked it and that was that."
Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2: "Both sessions were good for me today. Even though we'd obviously liked to have had more time on the options this afternoon the rain interrupted the run we tried on the super softs, but that was the same for pretty much everyone so we're all in the same position.
"In FP2 the car felt pretty good and even though the track was very slippery when we went out on the inters I still felt like we have a decent balance to work from . This is one of the races where we need to make sure we're there at the chequered flag and not make any mistakes, so having had a few laps in what will probably be the trickiest conditions all weekend I'm feeling good about the sessions ahead, and the race on Sunday."
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "Monaco is obviously a unique circuit, similar only to Hungary in its demands on the engine. There are two key areas that we focus on while preparing to race here and in the first two practice sessions - driveability and maximising stability under braking. The number of slow speed corners here means we need to give the drivers an engine package that gives them excellent engine response out of all the low speed corners so they can be on the power early and have a smooth exit from each turn. Braking stability is also key. The heaviest braking zone is out of the tunnel into turn ten and even though the track has been resurfaced this year and the bumps that were there in 2011 have been smoothed out, we need to ensure the KERS and engine maps are giving the drivers the confidence to brake as late as possible into one of the few possible overtaking places in Monaco."
Mark Smith, Technical Director: "Today's practice sessions were ok for us, if a bit stop start with the weather in FP2. This morning we tried a couple of new suspension parts on both cars that worked as we had expected and even though Heikki's FP1 was cut short by the engine failure it was at the end of the session and we did not lose any track time as the session was red flagged. The new engine he ran in FP2 was due to go on his car tomorrow anyway, it had covered more than 2,000kms, so it really was not a big problem for us to see his morning session end that spectacularly! The team worked very well with Renault Sport F1 to make the engine change over lunch and Heikki was back on track about six minutes after FP2 began. In the afternoon session we managed to get Vitaly and Heikki out on the supersofts before the rain came back, so we have some data from those runs that will be useful for Saturday and Sunday. We finished the session with intermediates on both cars but as we also managed to complete enough laps on the softs in FP1 I think we're ok data-wise for the rest of the race weekend."