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Caterham quicker than Marussia - Kovalainen

ESPN Staff
May 5, 2013 « Boullier confident 'plenty more to come' from Lotus | Lotus expects another strong race in Spain »
Heikki Kovalainen drove for Caterham in FP1 in Bahrain and will do so again in Barcelona on Friday © Sutton Images
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Heikki Kovalainen believes Caterham should have been beating Marussia with the car at its disposal in the opening four races of the season.

Having been replaced at Caterham this year as the team chose a driver pairing of Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde, Kovalainen got to drive the CT03 in practice in Bahrain in a reserve driver role. While he admitted that the car was more of a handful than the one he was driving last year, Kovalainen said he felt it had the performance to beat Marussia despite Jules Bianchi being comfortably quicker in the first three races.

"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."

Kovalainen also said that his relationship with team principal Tony Fernandes never broke down, but revealed his return to the team was triggered by a message after qualifying for the opening race of the season.

"No it is false - I never fell out with him. 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?'"