• Australian Grand Prix

Caterham ready to push midfield

ESPNF1 Staff
March 10, 2012 « Hamilton targeting points in Melbourne | Hamilton ready to make 'sacrifices' in personal life for F1 »
Vitaly Petrov puts the Caterham through its paces © Sutton Images
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The re-branded Caterham team is ready to battle it out with the midfield teams in 2012 according to new recruit Vitaly Petrov.

Petrov was axed by Renault, now Lotus, for the new season but has been given another chance to prove his worth at Caterham. And the Russian driver is confident his new team has made significant strides forward to move up the grid when the season gets underway in Melbourne.

"Melbourne is obviously somewhere that will always be very special for me," said Petrov. "Last year I scored my first F1 podium there and was given a really good welcome by all the Australian fans so I'm sure it will be the same again this year. I think it's pretty clear we won't be in a position to fight for a podium again but I think the goal will be to push the midfield teams as hard as we can and who knows what could happen....

"Usually there are quite a few retirements in Australia, and there are a couple of areas of the track that don't leave any room for error, so I hope we're there at the end of the race and able to take advantage of whatever's happened ahead."

Team-mate Heikki Kovalainen is also hopeful that the T3 will prove reliable enough to make it to the chequered flag in Melbourne.

"Apart from a few issues in the second test, which were all sorted out for T3, our reliability has been good, and both Vitaly and I put in laps that showed we are close to the pace we want to be. But as everyone knows the tests don't really tell you anything about where you are against everyone else, so we won't really know anything until Saturday in Melbourne."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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