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More to come from Caterham - KovalainenChris Medland in Barcelona March 3, 2012 « Sauber 'clearly improving' - Kobayashi | Fourth still the target for Lotus »
Heikki Kovalainen says there is more pace to come from Caterham despite admitting that Friday's best lap time was set on low fuel.
Kovalainen was fifth quickest on the second day of the final test in Barcelona, ahead of McLaren, Mercedes, Force India, Sauber and Williams. Having set his best time on supersoft tyres Kovalainen admitted to ESPNF1 that it had been the lowest amount of fuel Caterham had run so far in pre-season, but said it still wasn't a full qualifying simulation.
"It was lower than what we've been running all winter, but it's still not a qualy run as in a one-lap run, one-lap fuel," Kovalainen said. "So it's also the first time that I've run the supersoft tyre, I haven't run one all winter. I think overall, apart from that there's been some good progress ... we still need to work on the setup of the car to find more performance there, so another day like this (Friday) would be good."
After some difficulties during the second test, Kovalainen said the team didn't really have the time to do a complete qualifying run, that the team knew what the car is capable of on low fuel and would focus on finding performance.
"We've always known roughly what we can do, what the tyres and the fuel will give you so we haven't bothered too much about that. Last week we had other issues that we were not able to complete the running that we wanted to complete the running that we wanted to complete so I think it was more important to focus on those issues first and now hopefully we're through most of the issues that we had and we can just put more laps on the car and also work on the performance."
Kovalainen added that he was more pleased with the CT01's race pace, saying that it responded to setup changes well to allow him to find a strong balance.
"I haven't seen what other people have done but for me especially there was one long run that stood out today that felt better than the others and there was a setup change that we made and seemed to be in the right direction. For me the car balance-wise feels better in the long run than in the qualy run; the front of the car is quite lazy, turning is not sharp enough the lower the fuel or on new soft tyres, but with the longer run the car seems to be more balanced. In the long runs the tyres seem to be lasting longer than the other guys so that's pretty good."
Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1