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Petrov prepared to adapt

ESPNF1 Staff
February 22, 2012 « Trulli was offered Ferrari seat | Drive shaft problem halts Ricciardo »
Vitaly Petrov: "I think this car responds better to smoother inputs, so that's something I can work on" © Getty Images

Vitaly Petrov says he is ready to adapt his driving style to suit the CT01 after his first day in the car for Caterham.

Petrov made his debut on Wednesday having only signed for the team five days earlier, and completed 69 laps at Barcelona. He admitted that it took him a little while to feel comfortable in the car in the morning, but said the main thing he had learnt was the need to be more sensitive with his driving technique.

"This morning we had a couple of issues with the seating position and the brakes, but you expect that from a new car and they were little things that we were able to fix quickly," Petrov said. "In the afternoon we put in a few more long runs and that'll give us a lot of data to work on tonight and I think tomorrow it will be more of the same.

"Physically I feel really good. It's obviously been a while since I've been in a car, but I've kept up my fitness levels and I enjoyed myself on track, so it's a good first day back. One thing I have noticed is that this car behaves a little differently from my previous experience and I think I may have to adjust my driving style to get the best out of it - I've been quite aggressive before, but I think this car responds better to smoother inputs, so that's something I can work on, and work with the engineers on."

Mike Gascoyne said he was pleased with Petrov's performance and that the team would focus on finding his optimal setup on Thursday.

"A very reasonable first day with Vitaly in the car," he said. "We spent some time this morning getting him acclimatised, focusing particularly on the brakes, but he has settled in well and did exactly what we asked of him today. We have a few points to work on tonight, one of those being to understand how to give him a setup he feels most comfortable with, so tomorrow we expect to be able to continue to progress when he's back on track for the second day."