Caterham team and drivers report from qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, Round 4 of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship, at Shanghai International Circuit.
Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-#03: “As FP3 was wet and the grip levels were low everyone was being cautious but we managed to complete 12 laps, all on the inters apart from the installation. The car was ok, a bit too much oversteer but we did make some gains in braking over the two runs and finished the session without any issues.
“It was raining before the start of qualifying but the track conditions were right on the edge of choosing between inters and full wets so we went for the inters as that could have given us the best chance of springing a surprise in Q1. It was certainly pretty tricky on inters but the times were just about there with the wets on the first run so we stuck with them for the second run and went out to run to the flag. For the second stint the conditions were improving slightly, but still not enough for us to have a clear advantage on the intermediates, so ending up ahead of Bianchi in 18th and only three tenths from Gutierrez is probably about as good as we could have done today.”
Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-#01: “FP3 was my second wet session of the season and we started with the installation lap on full wets before switching to inters for the first run. That went ok but when I boxed we found a couple of issues with the power unit and an overheating front right brake that meant we could only complete six laps in the session.
“Quali was tough, especially considering I only had six laps this morning, but I’m relatively happy with how it ended up, especially as that was only my third ever session in the wet in F1! We went for the same strategy as Kamui and the car was a real handful on the first stint – I had front and rear locking in the braking zones and that was costing me a lot of time, plus I had some traffic issues on the first stint that also cost me time, but overall I’m happy I kept it on the track and finished ahead of Chilton.”
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “Over the day we’ve had some on-off issues with the ERS-K on Marcus’ car due to some gearbox control problems, but we feel we extracted the most from the Power Unit this session. Both drivers were able to use maximum power and energy recovery, but conditions were very difficult. Nevertheless we are ahead of both Marussias and feel we are well prepared to take the fight to them, and other cars ahead, in the race tomorrow.”