The Caterham Formula One team has successfully tested a new rear wing that should give the car more downforce at the next Grand Prix in Spain later this month, driver Vitaly Petrov said Wednesday.
Petrov made the comments after testing in Mugello, Italy, where he posted the 10th-fastest time of the field.
"The car has run faultlessly all day," Petrov told Caterham's website. "We started running some new parts and even though it's too early to make any judgments, I can say the new rear wing we tried immediately felt like it was giving us more downforce."
"The car's balance felt better and there was more grip, so that's definitely a step in the right direction," he said.
Romain Grosjean of Lotus Renault and Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi scored the best laps of the day.
Petrov added that the Mugello track, near Florence, was no longer ideal for modern F1 testing.
"I'm not sure the track is right for today's F1 cars," Petrov said. "You get very close to the walls and it's maybe a bit small for the cars now."
The teams have one day of tests left before hitting the road again for the Spanish Grand Prix, which starts on May 13 north of Barcelona.
Petrov finished 16th in the last race at Bahrain, equaling his season's result best in Malaysia, and spent much of the race jockeying for higher places.
After a retirement in Australia and 18th in China, Petrov said the season is starting to shape out the way the team would like.