Caterham drivers and team report from day one of free practice at the Canadian Grand Prix, Round 7 of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on IleNotre Dame in Montreal.
Alexander Rossi, car #45, chassis CT05-#02 (FP1): “27 laps and no issues is a pretty good way to finish my first FP1 of the season. It was my first time driving a 2014 car on track and I have to say it was very different to the 2013 car, but I enjoyed it. However, the focus for me today was helping the team establish a baseline setup and starting to try a few options and I’m pleased with how it went.
“At first the balance was actually pretty good – the rear was more solid than I thought it might be but the braking was something we had to take a look at as the front inside tyre was locking in the final part of each braking zone. We made a couple of changes and it definitely improved on the second full run, and for the rest of the session. By the last run I was starting to have more confidence with the braking, and we found a good initial balance that will be useful for FP2 and the rest of the weekend.
“My next run in the F1 car is in Austin and it’ll be really interesting to see how the car develops between then and now.”
Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-#01: “33 laps in FP1 meant we could work through a lot of the program and even though at first there was very little grip, by the end of the session we were starting to find a balance that was working ok. The track was very green for the first couple of runs and the car was sliding around a lot and I was having problems optimising the braking – it was like driving on ice, but we made a few setup changes and those, combined with the rubber going down throughout the session, meant that the grip levels had improved by the end of the first session.
“We made quite a few changes over lunch to improve the balance but on the first run of FP2 it didn’t feel like a positive step so for run two we went back to a similar setup to that we’d had before lunch. However, after 13 laps and on my second run I lost transmission and had to pull over. That was the end of the session which is obviously not ideal but with 33 laps this morning and another 13 in FP2 it’s not been too bad a day. I’m sure we’ll make progress overnight and be back pushing on tomorrow.”
Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-#02: “Tyre temperatures, braking issues and grip dominated FP2 for me. On both tyre compounds I was struggling to bring the tyres up to temperature efficiently which certainly cost me laptime, and that also contributed to the low levels of grip I had for the whole session.
“There’s definitely more time to come from the whole package here. Our final time isn’t a true picture of where we really are pace-wise, so we have to continue working as hard as possible tonight to give ourselves a chance to fight tomorrow. We’ll do just that and I’m sure we’ll make progress in FP3 and quali.”
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “We covered almost everything on our programme on the engine side today, with several test items on the agenda following the updates we brought here. Everything worked as expected, both in qualifying and race trim. We had the opportunity to work with Alexander in the morning, who was very quick to adapt himself to the 2014 Power Unit. All in all it was a good day, despite Marcus’ stoppage in FP2 due to a transmission issue. The engine has not been damaged so we can carry on as planned tomorrow.”