Caterham report from the Austrian Grand Prix

Kamui Kobayashi

Kamui Kobayashi

Caterham drivers and team report from the Austrian Grand Prix, Round 8 of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship, at Red Bull Ring;

Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-02: “I didn’t have a great start but then recovered and passed my teammate and Bianchi and was running well for the first stint. We’d started on Super-softs and they held up well, right until we boxed on lap 14 for a set of Softs.

“Our original plan was for a two stops and with our race focused on the Marussias, as soon as it became clear that Bianchi was stopping once, we decided to switch the strategy during the second stint which meant I had to manage that set of Softs for 55 laps to the flag. Unfortunately that didn’t work as with about ten laps to go I couldn’t hold him back as he was on Super-softs and had the pace to pass. We tried something and this time it didn’t work, but ultimately we probably didn’t lose anything as we were really only fighting him.

“Despite that I think we have to take quite a few positives from this weekend as our performance relative to our nearest competitors improved quite a bit. Our reliability has been much better this weekend and the setup change we made on Friday night paid dividends again today as I was pretty easily able to pass the lead Marussia and pull away early in the race. From where we were on Friday, and in the last couple of races, that’s a good sign and we know we can improve again at Silverstone so I’m already hungry to get back and fight again there.”

Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-01: “I’m pretty pleased with my race today as the gap to our direct rivals on Friday looked like it would be much more than it was today.

“I had a really good start, passing a couple of cars, but we’d planned to stretch out the first stint on Softs to around lap 28 so I didn’t want to kill them defending so early in the race. The first stop was good, going onto a set of new Super-softs which performed really well until about 10 laps into the stint, and then they started going off so we boxed again on lap 43 for a set of Softs to the flag.

“Unfortunately we had to extend the second pitstop by four seconds because of a Ferrari in the fastlane of the pitlane and that meant I came out about 12 seconds behind Chilton. The car felt good and within a few laps I had the gap down to around three seconds, but then the blue flags really kicked in and cost me a lot of time. They’re obviously part of the race, especially for us, and even though they make life even more tough, particularly on a small track like this, it’s still something I’m learning. We’re nearly halfway through the season and I’m definitely improving, and I’ll take that as another lesson – without that I think it would have been a much better fight to the flag, but 18th is still OK, especially considering where we were in FP1 and FP2.”

Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “The team made some set-up changes to the car over the weekend that made the car a bit more stable and closer to the competition. Kamui was able to race both Marussias and Marcus was fighting well with Chilton until traffic in his second stop cost him a lot of time, but this is good news for the coming races. The Power Unit has been working well all weekend and hopefully these latest steps will put us in a better position for the next race as well.”

(Caterham F1)