Caterham team and drivers report from the first day of practice for the Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Barceloina Catalunya.
Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-#03: “That was a tough day for us, with lack of grip stopping us get anything good out of the car in either session. We used most of FP1 for aero evaluations, looking at the new parts we’ve brought here and also starting work on the setup options we have for the weekend ahead, but with the grip issue I really couldn’t put a clean lap together in the whole session.
“It was the same in FP2. The track was a lot hotter than FP1 and it seemed to make the rear worse, but overall I couldn’t find a decent laptime on any of the runs. We obviously have a lot of work ahead of us tonight to find a setup direction that will allow us to get back to the performance levels we’re targeting, but we’ve had a few Fridays like this so far this year and we’ve always come back fighting on Saturday so I know we can be better tomorrow.”
Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-#01: “Like Kamui, for me the low grip levels in both FP1 and FP2 dominated both sessions. I couldn’t really push at all because for most of the day the car was switching from oversteer to understeer the whole way round the lap – to be honest it was a bit like driving on ice which is not what we want!
“For FP2 we made several changes but still had the same issue with grip. The traction levels were also very low and it was difficult applying the power, especially with the car moving around as much as it was. With all of this going on I didn’t have a chance to put in a clean quick lap on the mediums, so the final times today are pretty meaningless for us and I’m sure we’ll bounce back tomorrow. Even with the handling issues today we’ve still completed a good amount laps so we have a lot of data to work through and we’ll get back to where we want to be.”
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “The second session was a step forward and we were able to run the new software upgrades we brought to this race. Everything worked as planned and we were able to complete the tests we required. The upgrades represent a step forward and we were happy with the progress. In FP1 unfortunately we had some issues with the calibration and had to run in a downgraded mode with less than optimal energy management, but we managed to recover in the second session and it should not affect the weekend.”