Russian Formula One driver Vitaly Petrov said Saturday that problems in the braking zone had affected his qualifying performance for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.
Petrov qualified 19th for Caterham in Saturday’s session in a time of 1 minute 26.887 seconds, one place and half a second adrift of his teammate Heikki Kovalainen.
Petrov will, however, start 18th because of a ten-place grid penalty for Williams driver Pastor Maldonado, who was penalized five spots for jumping the start at last week’s Belgian Grand Prix and five more for colliding with Marussia’s Timo Glock in the same race.
“In qualifying I couldn't quite push as hard as I'd like - the brakes felt good in FP3 but in quali I couldn't attack into the braking zones as hard as I was able to in third practice so maybe that's where we lost a bit of lap time,” Petrov said on the Caterham website.
He said that the car had improved since first practice.
“I've been happy with the car today and it's good that we've made clear improvements,” he said.
Petrov’s best finish of the season is 13th in Valencia in June and he is currently 19th in the drivers’ standings.