Caterham pins hopes of joining midfield on Valencia and Silverstone upgrades
|By Jonathan Noble||Tuesday, June 19th 2012, 09:21 GMT|
Caterham is optimistic that major updates planned for its car for the next two races can help it make the step forward it needs to start challenging the teams ahead of it.
The Hingham-based outfit has not made the progress it hoped to this season, and has found itself still unable to launch a regular challenge on the more established team just ahead.
A raft of aerodynamic developments and revisions to the floor of its car are scheduled for the Valencia and Silverstone races and technical director Mark Smith thinks that they should give Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov the possibility to get through to Q2 on merit.
"We expect to be much closer to the cars ahead than we were last year, giving us a chance perhaps to put one of our cars into Q2 and giving the drivers a real chance to race on Sunday," explained Smith.
"We have a couple of quite significant updates coming in Valencia and Silverstone - we will take a look at a number of new aerodynamic elements in Valencia as well as some minor modifications to the floor, and even though we will not know exactly what they will give us until we get out on track, we are cautiously optimistic they will help us keep edging ever closer to the midfield."
Team principal Tony Fernandes says he is keeping his expectations realistic, but still believes Caterham has the chance of scoring at least one point in 2012.
"While we are honest enough with ourselves to know that these upgrades alone will not be enough to force our way into the midfield pack, we do know it is a statement of our intent to join the group just ahead that we are updating the car at the same rate or even more quickly than our rivals," he said.
"We have the people and resources in place to achieve our goal of scoring a point this year, and we are edging ever closer to a group of cars that is now tantalisingly close."