Caterham team and drivers report from qualifying day for the Malaysian Grand Prix, Round 2 of the 2014 Formulas 1 World Championship, at Sepang International Circuit.
Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-#02: “Yet more problems with the car meant I was only able to complete seven laps in FP3. Even with that limited running we were still able to make a bit of progress, and with the data generated from my teammate’s car we were able to set the car up for quali, but obviously this isn’t how we are going to find out what the car is really capable of.
“In quali we went out with the pack on inters and as much as I was pushing I wasn’t able to get any more out of the car, especially as I couldn’t get the inters into their working range so never had them running properly. Bearing in mind the tiny number of laps we did all weekend, and the problems we had on Saturday morning, the fact we were even running in qualifying was down to the hard work the team put in, so to have got out there and put in laps after all the problems we’ve had is a small reward. Now we focus on tomorrow and hope we can have a full race. If it rains like it did today anything could happen – I just want the chance to race properly!”
Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-#01: “After the first FP3 run it was clear we’d made a good step from last night, both with the overall handling and with the driveability of the power unit. On the first run we were out on the primes and even though it was an improvement from Friday there was still pretty low grip. We then did one run on options with a couple of setup changes and the car immediately felt better, still not really close to an optimum setup but a bit closer. Unfortunately after that second run we found an oil leak which meant we had to end the session just after the performance run, but we went into qualifying with a bit of an idea of where we would be in terms of outright pace in the dry.
“The rain started before quali and we went into the delayed session knowing we’d start on a wet track. That was my first ever wet running in F1, in any session, so from the first lap it was all a new experience for me. It didn’t start too well with the car cutting out while I was waiting in the pitlane, but we fired it up again in the garage and I rejoined right in the middle of a pack of cars on their first Q1 quick laps – that was pretty interesting I have to say!
“With every lap I was learning more and more and we made a quick stop with a few minutes left to put on another set of inters, but then on the final quick lap I made a mistake in sector one and crashed. I’m really sorry for the team. They’ve worked so hard all weekend on the problems we’ve had, and now they have another huge job ahead of them to prepare the car for tomorrow, but I know they’ll keep pushing and we’ll all come back fighting tomorrow. This has been another big lesson for me – my first wet running in F1, my first Q1 on inters and my first big off – it’s all part of being a rookie in F1 and I will learn from every single thing that happens.”
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “A disappointing day and it’s fair to say we expected more. The rain sometimes gives opportunities to move up but it didn’t happen today. On the Power Unit side everything went relatively smoothly, with no major problems, but conditions were very difficult. Hopefully we can do something from those positions tomorrow.”