Caterham drivers eye better Friday at Sepang
21 March 2014 – Caterham drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson have set their sights on enjoying a smoother start to the upcoming Malaysian Grand Prix weekend, the first of two home races for the team this season.
Caterham, based in Leafield but registered as a Malaysian entrant, endured a troubled opening day at the season opener in Australia, with Kobayashi and Ericsson restricted to just three laps amid technical issues.
Although improvements were made as the event wore on, Kobayashi crashed out at the first corner due to a brake-related problem and Ericsson was forced to retire before the halfway mark amid oil pressure trouble.
Looking ahead to the next round, both men are confident that the outfit can extract plenty more performance from the CT05 chassis, providing that their running is not restricted as it was on the streets of Melbourne.
"It's our team's first home race of the year, so it's going to be a good week!" Kobayashi commented.
"I've obviously raced there a few times before, and finished in the points in 2011, and this year it would be great if we were able to fight for a point, but we'll have to make sure we have a better Friday than we did in Australia.
"The way we bounced back in qualifying in Melbourne showed a little bit of what we can do, but without any real laps in FP1 or FP2 we only had a very small chance to fight. With a proper Friday and Saturday programme we can give ourselves the opportunity to show the true pace of the car, and prepare much more for the race."
"For race two to be a home race for Caterham and on a track I know and like, that's really good for me," added Ericsson, who is one of three rookies in the field. "We obviously need a stronger weekend on track overall, and I know they guys back at the factory and at [engine supplier] Renault have been working flat out to help us do so.
"Our race pace in Australia was pretty good, but with a full Friday and not having to use FP3 to catch up, I think we can start to unlock the real performance of this year's car. If we can do that, and with the work being put in by everyone, there’s no reason why we shouldn't, I think Malaysia could be a strong weekend for our team."