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Caterham preview the German GP

Monday 16-July-2012 10:07

Still without their first World Championship point, Caterham are hoping their efforts will soon pay off...

For all the latest F1 odds on the German Grand Prix, round ten of the 2012 F1 Championship, visit Sky Bet.

Heikki Kovalainen: "Next up it's Hockenheim which will be my hundredth Grand Prix weekend. That's a good milestone to reach and I'm pleased I'll be able to celebrate it with a really good team of people, and a lot of friends in the paddock. On track we're back to a track that is more of a low speed circuit compared to Silverstone, but one that still has quite a lot of the lap on full throttle. It used to have one of the longest flat out sections of all F1 tracks but since that was taken out of the lap you need a car that has a balance between good traction for the low speed corners and good top speed to take advantage of the overtaking opportunities into turn six. One of the main objectives for us will be to have as much track time as we can to keep working on the upgrades we brought to Silverstone. We definitely didn't get as much out of them as we had hoped, mainly due to the lack of dry running we had, so hopefully we'll be able to have a dry Friday so we can work through the setup options and unlock more of the speed we know is there. Whatever happens with the weather the race weekend will definitely be good. The German fans are about as passionate as anywhere we go in the world and there's always a great atmosphere around the whole place. I remember when I was at Mclaren, going past the Mercedes stand and seeing all the fans holding up boards with my name on - that's pretty cool and even though this year it'll be other drivers' names they're holding up I'm always given a really warm welcome."

Vitaly Petrov: "Now we're going to Hockenheim which is a good track. It's quite technical and it's a good challenge to find the right set-up. That will be extra important for us as we need track time to get the updates we brought to Silverstone right. The basic improvements are there but we need to work on the aero balance and then I think everyone will see what they've given us. One of the really good things about Germany is the atmosphere, which is particularly positive in Hockenheim. The track is always full of fans and the fans are a lot like the British guys. They know a lot about the sport and the promoters put on a good range of events for the fans so they have a really good weekend, whether we're on track or not. The whole circuit is good and if you pick the right spot you can see a lot of the lap, but one of the best places around the track is the stadium section. One day maybe I could put on a mask and go and see what it's really like in the middle of the fans there! It would be good to go and hang out there but I think that if I didn't wear a disguise I'd never come back!"

Mark Smith, Technical Director: "The back to back weekends in Germany and Hungary mark the last races before the summer break and both should give us a chance to get back to the performance levels we have targeted for this stage of the season. We start at Hockenheim where we last raced in 2010. The team has obviously progressed significantly since then and now we can realistically look at fighting with a few of the cars ahead. In Silverstone we did not maximise the new aero package we brought but the specific demands of Hockenheim definitely give us a chance to do so. Obviously we will have also had more time to analyse the data we generated over the weekend so I am reasonably confident we will be able to get back to where we want to be. Technically, Hockenheim is all about mediums. Brake wear and brake cooling are medium, downforce levels are between medium and high and this is a track where the stresses on the engine and the gearbox are in the mid-range. This means the drivers can be aggressive throughout the whole lap and that puts the onus on the engineers to find setups that allow them to push as much as possible, in the high speed sections and into the twisty bits in the stadium. If we can do that successfully, and fine tune the revised exhausts and bodywork, I think we can have a good weekend."

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: "Both the German and Hungarian races give us a chance to get back on track, literally and metaphorically. The team will take a very well deserved break after the race in Budapest, but before that we need to have two strong weekends where we can exploit the hard work put in all year by the team in the design office and the wind tunnel. In Silverstone we were not able to show how far we have progressed, for a number of reasons, but I am more sure than ever that we are going in the right direction, and that very soon our efforts will pay off. This is an extraordinary season and it is possible that in previous years the gains we have made would have been more obvious. We are still a small team, but we have already made very good progress this year and with a little luck and even more hard work I know we will make that step into the midfield and join the battles that are going on ahead of us. We have the people to help us do that, and after Hungary we will be moving the F1 team to our new home in Leafield and that will mark the next chapter in our extraordinary story. However, now we are focusing on the races that take us past the mid-point of the season and I am excited about seeing what we can achieve at both Grands Prix. Hopefully Heikki's car won't suffer the same contact that cost him so much downforce in the British Grand Prix, and I know that Renault Sport F1 are working as hard as they can to ensure we do not suffer a repeat of the engine failure that ended Vitaly's race before it started in Silverstone. With more time on track to push the upgrade package as far as we can, and a little luck, both races could send us into the summer break on a very positive note."

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