posted 6 years ago

Caterham F1 2012 Japanese GP

The Caterham F1 Team can emerge satisfied from the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix...

The Caterham F1 Team can emerge satisfied from the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix... despite qualifying in lowly positions. As such Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov only managed nineteenth and twenty-third, respectively, so missed out on the second session. Mercifully, though, Caterham was promoted to seventeenth and twenty-second following penalties for Mercedes-Benz' Schumacher and Toro Rosso's Vergne. The former lost ten places for causing a crash at the last race - the latter three for blocking a rival in qualifying.

Caterham F1 then sidestepped the first lap carnage that brought out a safety car. This involved Ferrari's Fernando Alonso who retired after spinning with a puncture caused by the front wing of Raikkonen's Lotus. Red Bull's Mark Webber was spun too, by Lotus' Romain Grosjean, and Mercedes-Benz' Nico Rosberg retired after being hit by Senna's Williams. This earned the latter a drive-through penalty. Kovalainen then continued to finish a respectable fifteenth, with a best lap of 1:38.043. Petrov finished seventeenth having managed 1:38.344. Whereas these results and times cannot set the world on fire – particularly as Red Bull's Vettel recorded 1:35.774 on his way to victory – Caterham's cars once again proved to be reliable and finished the race. This is a positive sign for the future.

Heikki Kovalainen said: "I had a fantastic start, avoided all the problems in turn one, and passed Glock as soon as the safety car came out. I was running really well in eleventh until the first set of stops and in that first stint the car felt great.” Vitaly Petrov added: "At the start I had to avoid the problems in front but got through that okay and pretty quickly settled into a good rhythm. My first stop was fine but after that we lost KERS (essentially a power boost) and that obviously cost me time. He concluded: From where I started on the grid and with the KERS issue I think I probably got as much as I could out of the car today”.