Caterham plays down Heikki Kovalainen's Canadian Grand Prix practice crash
|Friday, June 8th 2012, 21:12 GMT|
Caterham does not think Heikki Kovalainen's heavy crash in Friday practice in Montreal will disrupt its Canadian Grand Prix preparations, and is optimistic it can chase the midfield pack again in the race.
Kovalainen slammed into the wall on the exit of Turn 9 just over halfway into free practice one, and missed the first half hour of practice two as a result.
But Caterham's technical director Mark Smith said the team still managed to achieve everything it had wanted to.
"Heikki's accident this morning obviously meant we had to change his runplan for the day but excellent work by the team gave him enough laps on both tyre compounds in FP2 to make sure we minimised the loss of track time today," said Smith. "His times this afternoon were good but there is definitely some more to come."
Kovalainen expressed his gratitude to the team for getting him back out in good time.
"First I want to say thank you to the team for doing a great job and getting the car fixed and ready for most of FP2," he said. "I made a mistake on the exit of Turn 9 and hit the wall, obviously doing some pretty substantial damage to the car but, thankfully, not to the chassis.
"As soon as we got it back to the garage the guys started work on rebuilding it so to get that job done and giving me FP2 track time was a very good achievement."
The Finn ended up 16th quickest in the session, as both the Finn led both Toro Rossos and Bruno Senna's Williams in the final order, and was upbeat about Caterham's pace.
"Before the FP1 off the car had felt good pretty much from the first lap," said Kovalainen. "In FP2 I had the same sort of positive feel from the balance and I think we look OK here - not quite as close as we were in Monaco but certainly close enough to have a good race on Sunday."