Kobayashi disappointed pass on Bianchi did not count
21 April 2014 – Kamui Kobayashi says it is unfortunate that Caterham missed out on beating Marussia at the Chinese Grand Prix through no fault of their own.
Kobayashi battled with Marussia's Jules Bianchi throughout the race and passed him on the final of the 56 laps to move ahead of his rival and claim 17th place.
But officials showed the flag to eventual race winner Lewis Hamilton prematurely and under the sporting regulations it meant that the results were called at the end of the 54th lap, rendering Kobayashi's pass on Bianchi as obsolete.
"Finishing 18th isn't the final position we'd want, but after a really good battle with Jules I'm relatively pleased with how the race went," he said. "However, it's a real shame that my move on him on the last lap now doesn't count due to the mistake with the chequered flag, something we had nothing to do with. We'd had a really good battle for the last few laps of the race and I got him on what was the last lap, until it turned out the chequered flag had been waved a lap too early by mistake – until we found that out after the race it had been good to see what a small victory like that does for the team as it lifted everyone at the end of a very tough first four races of 2014."
Kobayashi admits that Caterham cannot currently battle with the likes of Sauber and Lotus on merit, but says his squad is determined to close the gap.
"Through no fault of our own that result now doesn't count but we'll just have to dig deeper in Spain and fight back there," he said.
"Even though we had good race with [Pastor] Maldonado for the first third of the race it's clear we don't have the outright pace to fight Lotus or Sauber yet, but we have a good package coming for Spain and we are determined to try and close the gap. The first four races have been hard, but having both cars finish shows the progress we and Renault have made with reliability. Now we have to build on that and use the next couple of weeks to recharge ourselves so we can come back stronger in Barcelona."