Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne said he was pleased with an 'excellent day' of running for Caterham to kick-start the final pre-season test of the year in Barcelona.
The team was forced into making a late change of driver after Heikki Kovalainen was struck down by food poisoning, with Vitaly Petrov instead taking to the track at the wheel of the CT01.
The Russian managed more than 120 laps over the course of the day and outpaced the Williams of Pastor Maldonado, leaving Gascoyne pleased with the days work.
“That was an excellent day for us, despite the very late change of driver we had to make this morning,” he said. “We ran 123 laps and completed the whole program and even though we will not have Vitaly's race seat ready until he is back in the car on Sunday, he was much more comfortable in the car and improved his times and his feedback throughout the day.
“This morning we were focusing on further tyre evaluation and setup work, and in the afternoon session we completed a number of long runs which has helped us take a step forward with the setup options for this car. Taking into account the number of laps we ran today, and the fact Vitaly is feeling ever more comfortable with the team and in the car I think we can say that this has been the perfect start to the test for the whole team.”
Petrov himself was also pleased with his progress made as he continues to get to know his new team.
“Today the car was working very well from the first installation lap and right up to the final lap this afternoon,” he said. “We managed to work through the whole tyre program and put in solid lap times all day, as well as working through a number of other setup programs that are helping me find the right balance I can really push with.
“My race seat will be in the car for Sunday so I think we can make more progress then, when I know I'll be fully comfortable in the car, so I hope we can build on what we have done today over the next couple of days and leave the test in very good shape for the first race.”