Vitaly Petrov said he was pleased with his first day of running with Caterham after sampling the CT-01 for the first time on the second day of testing at Catalunya.
The Russian, who will replace Jarno Trulli
this season, managed just under 70 laps on his first day with the team, despite some initial issues getting comfortable in the car.
However, the former Renault
driver declared himself happy with his day's work although he admitted he may need to amend his driving style to get the best out of the car.
“I think that was a pretty positive day,” he said. “We completed 69 laps and got through most of what we had planned. This morning we had a couple of issues with the seating position and the brakes, but you expect that from a new car and they were little things that we were able to fix quickly. In the afternoon we put in a few more long runs and that'll give us a lot of data to work on tonight and I think tomorrow it will be more of the same.
“Physically I feel really good. It's obviously been a while since I've been in a car, but I've kept up my fitness levels and I enjoyed myself on track, so it's a good first day back. One thing I have noticed is that this car behaves a little differently from my previous experience and I think I may have to adjust my driving style to get the best out of it – I've been quite aggressive before, but I think this car responds better to smoother inputs, so that's something I can work on, and work with the engineers on. Let's see what we can come up with for tomorrow.”
Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne was also happy with the day and said the key now was to make progress when Petrov returns to action tomorrow.
“A very reasonable first day with Vitaly in the car,” he said. “We spent some time this morning getting him acclimatised, focusing particularly on the brakes, but he has settled in well and did exactly what we asked of him today. We have a few points to work on tonight, one of those being to understand how to give him a setup he feels most comfortable with, so tomorrow we expect to be able to continue to progress when he's back on track for the second day.”