Caterham team and drivers review the opening day of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend, Round 2 of the 2014 Formula 1 world championship, at Sepang International Circuit:
Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05 #01: “24 laps in FP1 means we started Friday much better than we did in Australia! It was a good first session for me, working through a normal FP1 program which was particularly important with the issues we had on Kamui’s car. At the start of the session the track was ok and as it went on and the grip levels improved so did the car balance, but for most of the time I was having issues with traction although we did improve the driveability of the P U throughout the session. Overall, understeer was the main balance issue and a flatspot on one of the tyres meant the car was understeering quite a bit in the final two runs, but in general it was an OK session. In FP2 we were again able to get through a lot of laps but I had an issue all afternoon with the engine cutting out at various points throughout each lap. That mean I wasn’t able to put in a representative laptime in the whole session and that’s something we need to look at tonight with Renault. The car was also still understeering, particularly in the mid and high speed turns, and we’ll also have a look at that tonight when we have all the data from today.Overall it’s just good to have a full Friday behind me for the first time, especially here at our home race in Malaysia. I know the team is working as hard as possible to fix the problems on Kamui’s car, but at least we are a good step on from where we were this time in Australia with 55 laps completed on my side of the garage today – that will obviously help us tomorrow, both in FP3 and quali.”
Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05 #03: “FP1 started OK. We did the normal installation lap and then another three laps of the baseline run but then the power started cutting in and out and we had to box to take a look at the problem. It was pretty quickly identified as an energy store issue which meant we had to change the battery and that was the end of FP1 for me. Unfortunately we also found an oil leak when we took the floor off the car and that meant I wasn’t able to run at all in FP2 as it would have taken too long to fix both issues. This isn’t good, obviously, and I’m not happy that we’ve lost another Friday, but it is important to say that I know how hard everyone is working, in our team and at Renault, to try and fix these problems so we can have a proper race weekend. The fact that Marcus was able to run the most laps of anyone in FP1 shows that we can be reliable – we just need to make sure that both cars run like that for the rest of the weekend or we’ll have another difficult race ahead.”
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “Marcus had a solid day today, although the whole team has some way to go to unlock the potential of the car in Sepang. After completing a good lap tally in FP1 we had some intermittent issues with driveability in FP2, which prevented him setting a quicker lap time. We will investigate tonight. Unfortunately in the first session we had issues with the energy store on Kamui’s car and needed to change it for FP2. At this stage it takes some time so he could only do very few laps in the morning. Then the team picked up an oil leak from the clutch and he could not go out in FP2 either, due to the time it takes to work on this generation of cars, which is obviously not ideal. These issues should be fixed for tomorrow to give him the opportunity to prepare for Qualifying.”
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