Early end does not dispel good F1 feeling at Caterham

Hingham-backed Caterham's first day of testing this winter came to an early end – but the Norfolk outfit saw more than enough to back their positive feelings for the season ahead.

The former Team Lotus constructor's CT01 took to Jerez in Spain and completed a modest 28 laps on its debut before a break in the car's starting shaft ended their day's testing in the afternoon.

Although times in early testing are notoriously difficult to read, Heikki Kovalainen produced a best of one minute 23.178 seconds, ahead of Pastor Maldonado's Williams and the HRT of Pedro de la Rosa. The Hethel-backed Lotus Renault of Kimi R�ikk�nen was fastest in 1:19.670.

'It's good to be back at work after the winter break and great to see how up for the season ahead the whole team are,' said Kovalainen.

'We were first out on track this morning and the early feeling I had from the car was good. It's far too early to tell how much we've progressed but it already feels like we're going in the right direction.

'We obviously didn't want to end early today but we couldn't sort out the starter shaft issue in time to get back on track, but I'm reasonably pleased with what we have achieved today and I know the team will put in the work tonight to get us back out on track tomorrow and pick up where we left off today.'

Norwich-born chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne added: 'It is always a good feeling to see the new car out on track for the first time after all the hours everybody in the team has put in over the last few months to get us to this point.

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'We had to bring day one to an early end after damage to the starter shaft meant we were unable to start the engine which is a shame because it was an unusual issue and we had enjoyed a positive morning, working through the usual day one system checks and running without any reliability issues on the car until that point.

'Heikki's early feedback on the car is good and there is plenty to come from this car so we are looking forward to a positive next three days in Jerez.'

The opening four-day test of the winter runs until Friday, with two sessions at Barcelona before the season opener in Australia on March 18.

Kovalainen will continue in the CT01 on Wednesday before newly signed reserve driver Giedo van der Garde takes over on Thursday, with Jarno Trulli completing the test schedule on the fourth and final day.