Vitaly Petrov was forced to sit out much of this afternoon second free practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix after his steering wheel locked in position while cornering.
The Russian admitted that he was unable to either apply more lock or release the steering while on the power in Turn 16, forcing him to sit out the rest of the session after completing 12 laps. The team has no doubts that the problem will be fixed, although Petrov admitted that he feared he might crash after his steering locked.
"We had a steering column problem – on the data we could clearly see some problems," he said. "In the wet, it was not too bad but it was still a bit of a problem and I had already complained about this. Then I did Turn 16 flat when it was getting dry and my steering wheel was stuck. You couldn't turn it left or right, and I thought I was going to be in the wall. It wasn't moving, but then I lifted and it moved. It was strange."
Despite the steering problem and the wet weather that afflicted much of today's running, Petrov is upbeat about the minor developments that the team is trying out.
"We don't have any huge upgrades like people think," he said. "We have some little upgrades, but it's difficult to feel them. But I could feel that the floor is working, which is important. We tried to find a good basic setup, we changed a lot of things and it was much better compared to Silverstone."