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Petrov: No low-fuel glory run from Caterham

ESPNF1 Staff
March 1, 2012 « Issues cut Williams' first day short at Barcelona | Red Bull hiding nothing - Webber »
Vitaly Petrov completed 123 laps on Thursday despite an uncomfortable seat position © Sutton Images
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Vitaly Petrov insists Caterham was not doing a qualifying-style lap after getting within 1.7 seconds of the fastest time on Thursday in Barcelona.

Jenson Button was quickest on a competitive day which saw the whole field covered by just 2.3 seconds. With Petrov's supersoft lap time beating the Williams of Pastor Maldonado and being closer to the front than ever so far during pre-season, he insisted that the team had taken out very little fuel during the first day of the final test but said the car still needed to improve.

"It's not true, just maybe a little (fuel)." Petrov said. "But still we never tried qualifying things or even close to that so we still have quite a lot of fuel in the car, which is good ... if I want we can go much faster. Not much faster, but we still didn't try the qualy, we didn't try close to this setup to be in qualy mode. So there's still a lot to come, and I hope that with some upgrades we can still have some in Australia. In March it will be a new guy (John Iley) in the aerodynamics (department) from McLaren so I think then he will suggest some good things which is quite important."

Petrov admitted there was nothing to be read in to the fact that he was quicker than a Williams, saying he still feels Caterham is slightly behind the midfield.

"I think we're still quite far from the guys in front. Maybe not far but we still need to work quite hard at least to get close to them because they're still quick. We need to continue to work, it's not enough. This car still needs quite a lot of updates to bring good downforce and another part of the setups."

With the unwell Heikki Kovalainen back in the car on Friday, Petrov should have a new seat when he next drives the CT01 and he says that his performance is currently hampered by an uncomfortable seat fitting.

"My seat's still not arrived, it will arrive on Saturday. So I need to feel comfortable and to try this on the race track. The guys made something with the seat but it was quite uncomfortable because I have a lot of pain on the back and the shoulders so it's not nice to drive but at least it's possible to sit there. It's not perfect, but we will have a new good seat and then we'll work quite good.

"Of course (it affects concentration) because can you imagine if you start to brake and then something pinches you from the back? And then you go in to the corner, so of course it's cost some concentration and you can lose some time."