Caterham Preview Chinese Grand Prix 2014

April 13, 2014

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2014 CHINESE GRAND PRIXVIEW

Leafield Technical Centre, UK – 11th April, 2014

General
Race Laps: 56
Circuit layout makes overtaking difficult
One of the easiest circuits of the year on brakes
Kerbs are not an issue
Wind speed and direction have a big influence on car performance in sector two, as well as on top speed and through the high speed section
The track surface can be bumpy under braking, especially in T14 where brake locking is possible
Typical balance issues include traction instability out of T6 and T14 and understeer in T7 / T8

Circuit Particularity
Bumpiness: low (T14 bumps in braking zone)
Overtaking chance: low
Kerbs: smooth
Ride height setting particularity: none
Engine severity: high
Gearbox severity: medium
Lat/Long grip: lateral
Aero eff ratio: medium
Track grip evo during w/e: medium / high
Aero settings: high
Brake wear severity: low
Brake cooling necessity: medium

Chinese GP lowdown with Renault Sport F1 track support leader, Cedrik Staudohar

Main challenges of Shanghai for the Power Units:
Shanghai has the longest straight of the season at 1.3km. The ICE will be at full revs for just under 20 seconds, around one fifth of the predicted lap time. Getting a good top speed on this straight will be important and the ICE and MGU-K will be put under great pressure to maximise the speed. The MGU-H will be able to recover energy on the straight, but recovering enough to be efficient is critical since the heavy braking periods at both ends of the straight put a focus on the MGU-H delivering power to avoid any hesitation or ‘turbo lag’ on the exit.

Main energy recovery points:
The long straight gives a lot of opportunity for the MGU-H to recharge while the heavy braking points at either end will offer the MGU-K ample chance to recover the energy that would be lost through the brakes. Likewise the first corner, which tightens before going into a hairpin will see the cars brake heavily and shift even further through the gears.

Difficulty rating:
High. The long straight poses a tricky problem at this stage in the season plus the slow, tightening corners put an emphasis on good driveability. Shanghai is likely to be one of the biggest challenges we have in the first part of the year.

What to watch out for:
Weather conditions can vary quite significantly in China, ranging from very cold in the Friday morning session to hot for the race. These variations will change track conditions and therefore car behaviour, which will change the amount of fuel consumed per lap. Additionally, at present it’s scheduled to rain on Friday so the cars will have less grip, but still the same amount of torque – the slow corners will look spectacular.

Driver Quotes

Kamui Kobayashi, car #10: “The last of the four early season flyaway races is Shanghai, a track I’ve always had good support on and one that’s a really good challenge technically. The last time I raced there in 2012 I qualified fourth, the highest qualifying position of my career and my team at that point. I actually started third after Lewis had an issue but then the car had a problem with the launch and I lost a lot of places off the line. While I know we won’t be starting that high this year, it would still be good to have a better race in 2014, and the whole team is working as hard as possible to help us do that.

“The main setup focus is how you balance the need for downforce in the high speed turns against the low drag you want for one of the longest straights of the year. We saw in Malaysia that we have good straightline speed so we’ll have to make sure that works in our favour, and with Renault we’ll be working on energy management so we can maximise the advantage we have in those parts of the track. It’s also a circuit where windspeed and direction can have a big influence on how the car handles, so that’ll be another area for us to focus on in the three practice sessions.

“We obviously want to head back to Europe in a good position so everyone’s working flat out to help us do that. I We have a couple of new parts coming in China before the bigger package everyone brings to Spain, but we also have to make sure we play to our strengths – we have a small advantage in pure pace over our direct rivals which put us in a strong position for most of the Bahrain race, right up until the final stint which ended with a disappointing result. We have to use that performance on Sunday to help us get back to where we want to be, and to build on that at every race.”

Marcus Ericsson, car #9: “China’s another new track for me, so obviously what will really help is having another good Friday and Saturday, like we had in Bahrain. Step by step, with each race I’m learning more about how to manage a full race weekend and, apart from Canada, China’s the last track before we get to Europe that I haven’t raced on so it’s even more important to be have maximum mileage in FP1 and FP2 so we can really work on optimising the settings. Something I will be working on is tyre management, especially over the long runs – for rookies in F1 tyre management is one of the key areas you have to work on and improving that area of performance will definitely help make me stronger over the full race distance.”

“It might be my first visit to Shanghai but I raced in Macau in 2008 and 2009 so I have raced in China before. I was on pole there in 2009 and finished fourth, so I have good memories of racing in China, and I also spent the week between Australia and Malaysia this year in Macau because my trainer Alex was living there and working as an FMX rider in Macau before he joined me in F1. It’s an amazing country and it’ll be a privilege to race there as an F1 driver – hopefully we can repeat the sort of performance we had in Malaysia and finish these flyaways positively.”

McLaren Day 2 Test Bahrain 2014

April 13, 2014

Test report – Bahrain day two

 Date                             Wednesday April 9 2014

Driver                           Kevin Magnussen

Location                       Bahrain International Circuit (5.412km)

Today’s laps/km           26/141

Overall laps/km            128/693

Best laptime                 1m36.203s

 Programme                  Kevin Magnussen was once again behind the wheel for the second, and final, day of running in Bahrain.

                                     The day’s programme began well, with the team able to complete its planned aerodynamic correlation work; however, a car problem pitched Kevin into the Sakhir gravel just before lunchtime, and the team spent much of the remainder of the day repair the subsequent damage to the chassis.

                                     Kevin was able to return to the track for the final half-hour of running, during which he set his fastest time of the day, but the lengthy repairs meant he was only able to complete 26 laps.

 1 Lewis Hamilton                       Mercedes          1m34.136s        120 laps

2 Jean-Eric Vergne                    Toro Rosso       1m35.557s        64 laps

3 Kevin Magnussen                  McLaren           1m36.203s        26 laps

4 Sergio Perez                          Force India        1m36.586s        63 laps

5 Daniel Ricciardo                     Red Bull            1m37.310s        68 laps

6 Jules Bianchi                          Marussia           1m37.316s        93 laps

7 Giedo Van Der Garde             Sauber              1m37.623s        77 laps

8 Fernando Alonso                    Ferrari               1m37.912s        12 laps

9 Marcus Ericsson                     Caterham          1m39.263s        66 laps

10 Felipe Nasr                           Williams            1m39.879s        64 laps

11 Romain Grosjean                  Lotus                1m43.732s        17 laps

12 Pastor Maldonado                Lotus                1m55.613s        4 laps

 What’s next                  The team returns to the UK and completes its preparations for next weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix

 Test dates                    Two days (April 8-9)

Caterham Day 2 Test Bahrain 2014

April 13, 2014

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T04 BAHRAIN – DAY TWO

Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain – 9th April 2014

Driver: Marcus Ericsson, #9

Chassis: CT05-#01

Total laps: 66

Fastest lap: 1.39.263

Marcus Ericsson: “It was a good morning session for us, running through a plan that started with aero work with a front wheel wake rake fitted for aero evaluation, and then some work on the braking system that gave us a lot of interesting information. We didn’t really have any issues so we were able to get through most of the morning runplan and then broke for lunch just before the morning session ended.

“In the afternoon session we started with a number of runs with a rear wing rake on, carrying out more aero work and then removed it to start the final planned runs of the test, but on my 13th run of the day we had an issue that stopped the car at turn eight. We got the car back and identified the problem as an ERS electrical issue but didn’t have enough time to fix it and go back out so that was the end of the test.

“Even with the problem in the afternoon we got through a lot of work today and everyone’s reasonably pleased with what we’ve achieved. We have a lot more information to work through at the factory before China – now it’s time to pack up for the last time in Bahrain in 2014 and prepare for the next race weekend in Shanghai in a week’s time.”

Caterham Race Report Bahrain Grand Prix 2014

April 7, 2014

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2014 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX

Sakhir International Circuit, Bahrain – 6th April 2014

Caterham F1 Team Partner Information
The Airbus Group is a global pioneer in aeronautics, space and defence related services, creating cutting-edge technology

Weather
Race: dry, air temp 24° / track temp: 28° (start), 23° / 27° (lap 28), 23° / 26° (lap 57)

Runplan
Kamui Kobayashi
Lap 15: pitstop 1, option tyres
Lap 35: pitstop 2, medium tyres
Finished: 15th
Fastest lap: 1.41.246 (lap 17)

Marcus Ericsson
Lap 11: pitstop 1, option tyres
Lap 26: pitstop 2, option tyres
DNF
Fastest lap: 1.41.134 (lap 28)

Team Quotes

Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-#03: “I had an ok start but had an issue on lap one with a setting that gives us full boost and energy release – we sorted that out quickly and I passed Marcus for 18th, then went after Bianchi who I caught and passed on lap 10.

“My race pace was good in the first stint and the tyre deg was what we’d expected so we stuck to the strategy and boxed for the first time on lap 15 for another set of options. I came out behind Marcus and Chilton but got in front of them both and went after Maldonado in 16th but with the performance level of the car now I wasn’t able to catch him.

“We were on a two stop strategy so we came in for the mediums on lap 35. I was fighting with Gutierrez but let him go as he was on a different strategy and there wasn’t any point ruining that set of tyres just to race him, but then the safety car came out and I was able to make up the lap and was up with Maldonado and Grosjean just as the safety car came in.

“After the restart I had to save fuel so couldn’t keep pace with the pack and that was pretty much the end of my race. Finishing 15th isn’t great but we really couldn’t do any more today. We’ll have to regroup for China and with a few updates we have for that race we’ll aim to make progress there.”

Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-#01: “My start was good and I was up to 17th by the end of lap three, fighting with Grosjean and then went after Bianchi. The car balance really didn’t feel great and  Kamui had better pace than me in the first few laps plus my tyre deg wasn’t great so we made our first stop on lap 11 at the same time as Chilton – the guys did a good job and I came back out still ahead of him at the start of the second stint.

“The car still didn’t feel great on the second set of tyres and I couldn’t hold back the Marussia or Kamui who was on a different strategy to me. I kept pushing up to the second stop on lap 26 when we went onto the third set of options and came out ahead of the Marussia again but then after a few more laps I lost power and was told to stop the car because we had an oil leak.

“It’s obviously disappointing not to be able to finish the race, especially as the car was feeling much better as the fuel level dropped. Still, for me it’s another part of the learning process and with every lap I’m racing my education continues. Now we have a couple more days of testing in Bahrain and then it’s off to China for another new track for me. We’ll have some new parts there so we’ll work on optimising them with setup and come back fighting in Shanghai.”

Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “Yet again both drivers did a good job with all the settings and were able to race on pace with both Lotuses, Marussias and Saubers. The chassis-engine package is improving with each session as we understand more about its strengths and the aim is clearly to keep this upward trend going. Unfortunately Marcus’ race came to an end due to an oil leak, which was linked to an issue with the MGU-H. On Kamui’s car we were forced to save fuel at the end of the race as we gained a lap under the safety car, but we’re now looking forward to the test next week and the next race in Shanghai.”

Caterham Qualifying Bahrain Grand Prix 2014

April 7, 2014

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2014 BAHRAIN GP – FP3 & QUALIFYING

Sakhir International Circuit, Bahrain – 5th April 2014

Caterham F1 Team Partner information
Our cars are running new GE logos at the Bahrain Grand Prix – here’s why:

GE – A brand in motion: GE is big minds and big machines in motion. The new logo on the Caterham F1 Team racecars is an expression that reflects where the world is headed in a way that is courageous and purposeful. The brand in motion is engaging and optimistic, connecting us to the pursuit of progress.

Weather
FP3: Dry, sunny; track temp 42° (start) – 35° (end), air temp 28° (start) – 27° (end)
Q1: Dry, twilight; track temp 29° (start) – 28° (end), air temp 24°

Fastest laps / positions:
FP3: KOB 1.38.400, 16th / ERI 1.38.971, 19th
Q1: KOB 1.37.085, 19th / ERI 1.37.875, 21st

Total laps:
FP3: KOB 17 / ERI 18
Q1: KOB 6 / ERI 7

Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-#03: “FP3 was a much better session than we’d had yesterday. The guys had worked until just before curfew to get the cars ready and they did really well to prepare for Saturday. The car was performing pretty well in FP3, a little oversteer, but that was to be expected with the track temperatures in the afternoon, but we didn’t want to make any changes as it was obviously going to be cooler in the evening.

“In quali my first run was good – one flying lap on the options that I didn’t think I could improve on so I boxed and we waited until there were about three minutes left and then went out for one more flying lap. I definitely got everything I could out of the car on that run and finished about four-tenths from Q2, a realistic view of where we are now with performance.

“That’s the first time this season we’ve really had a chance to extract maximum performance from the car, after a good Friday and Saturday, so it’s clear what we need to do to improve. We saw last week in Malaysia we have good race pace, but we need to bridge that gap to be able to fight in quali with teams like Lotus and Sauber, and that’s the target. For tomorrow I think we’re in a much better position than we were in the first two races, particularly with the work we did yesterday, so if we can continue this better reliability the race could be a good one for us.”

Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-#01: “We definitely made some improvements overnight and I want to thank everyone in the team for the efforts they put in to move on from what had been a bit of a difficult Friday. My final run on the options was the best of the weekend so far – we’d improved the braking and the overall balance so I went into quali feeling pretty positive about being able to fight with our nearest rivals.

“We started Q1 on a set of new options but I had a bit of a lock-up that cost me quite a bit of time on the first run. I wasn’t going to get any more out of that set of tyres so we boxed and then went for another final run towards the end of the session. My final lap was definitely my best of the weekend but I didn’t have a great outlap so I know I could have found more, but overall I’m reasonably pleased with how Saturday has gone. It’s been a much better weekend so far with reliability and with the improvements we made today I’m now focused on having another solid race tomorrow. I’m learning all the time, and with the mileage we’ve now done here in Bahrain I want to make tomorrow’s race my strongest yet – do that and this will have been a good weekend.”

Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “It was a good qualifying session from an engine point of view as we were able to run the maximum performance. We proved that our package can be competitive as we were not too far from the car in front and our speed down the straight is good, which demonstrates that we have improved a lot since the final test in Bahrain. We had a couple of small issues with the ERS system on Marcus’ car on the first run but they didn’t affect the PU performance. Unfortunately Marcus did not manage to maximize his final quick lap and may have lost roughly four-tenths, but I don’t think it would have made a major difference to the final positions.”

Caterham Preview Bahrain Grand Prix 2014

April 7, 2014

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BAHRAIN GRAND PRIXVIEW

Sakhir International Circuit, Bahrain – 1st April 2014

General
Race Laps: 56
The track surface is usually sandy at the start of each session
Lots of marbles off the racing line
Elevation is relevant out of T11
Bumps and kerbs are not an issue
High brake energy circuit
Usually quite windy, affecting car behaviour in high speed corners
High ambient temperatures and very dry
Braking and traction instability are usually the main issues
First gear is used in T1 and usually a short first gear is used for launch due to high grip levels of the track
Top gear requires particular attention due to strong tail or head winds

Circuit Particularity
Bumpiness: low (T14 bumps in braking zone)
Overtaking chance: T1
Kerbs: smooth / medium
Ride height setting particularity: usually low
Engine severity: high
Gearbox severity: medium
Lat/Long grip: longitudinal
Aero eff ratio: medium / low
Track grip evo during w/e: high
Aero settings: high
Brake wear severity: high
Brake cooling necessity: high

Bahrain GP lowdown with Renault Sport F1 track support leader, Cedrik Staudohar

Main challenges of Sakhir for the Power Units: “As a modern track with an equal balance between straights and tight corners, Sakhir is a fairly medium-demand circuit. A smooth, neutral PU set up will really pay dividends as some of the corners – particularly in the back section from T4 to T9 – roll into each other. As at all tracks, the challenge is to have the correct balance between energy management and driveability. We also need to play particular attention to the cooling since the Bahrain desert can reach up to 45°C. With cooling requirements already at a premium with the high rotational speeds of the turbocharger and MGU-H, adding extra external temperatures will make engine cooling a priority task on the job list.

Main energy recovery points: “The four straights – the 1km pit straight, 500m between turns three and four, the short burst linking T10 and 11 and then the final drag from T13 to T14 – will give plenty of opportunity for the MGU-H to recover energy from the exhaust since the ICE will be working at full revs for around 50 – 60% of the lap. The twisty back section from turns four to eight and 11 to 13 have several heavy braking points, plus the corners at the end of the straights allow the MGU-K to keep the battery reserve at high charge. The circuit is therefore in the middle of the table on the balance between electrical energy and fuel.”

Difficulty rating: “Medium. The temperatures increase the difficulty but the circuit itself is average.”

What to watch out for: “The winter testing period included two tests in Bahrain, which were pretty difficult at the start for the team and Renault but improved throughout and finally saw Caterham record a good percentage of Renault’s total mileage over both tests. This time we will come back with a lot more mileage under our belts, including two full race distances in GP conditions, which gives us a lot more confidence and information going forward. There are still some small issues but right now we are concentrating on performance rather than trying to go for reliability.”

Driver Quotes

Kamui Kobayashi: “Next it’s back to Bahrain for race three, back at a track we’ve already spent a couple of weeks at this year in the pre-season test where we managed to build up some pretty good mileage at a time when our reliability was good, something that will be really important this weekend. We also now have something to build on, both in terms of performance and from where we are now, in tenth place in the championship and with targets ahead that we know we can race with.

“Reliability really is the main focus for Bahrain. We need to have three good practice sessions so we can go into qualifying and the race with an optimised setup giving us the chance to really find out what the real performance level of this car is. On my last day of the test in Bahrain we weren’t able to do the final performance run because of a clutch issue, and we really haven’t had a chance since then to run the car in full quali spec with optimised setups because of the reliability problems we’ve had, and the wet quali sessions we had in both Australia and Malaysia. Yes, we performed well in Malaysia for much of the race, but that was with a car that had almost no meaningful setup work done on it and with more still to come from the power unit. It’s vital we have a full weekend so we can pick up where we left off in Sepang and continue to improve across all areas of the car’s performance.

“Our ability to develop is what will be crucial this year. Our development program is starting in Bahrain with the first new parts coming from the work we’ve been doing in the TMG wind tunnel and it’ll be good to see how they perform.”

Marcus Ericsson: “I left Malaysia feeling pleased that I’d finished my first full race, and excited about what we achieved on Sunday at Sepang. It was tough – even though we’d completed quite a few laps on Friday and Saturday, we still went into the race without an optimised setup due to the issues we had on Friday and the work we had to do overnight to rebuild the car on Saturday and Sunday, so the most important thing in Bahrain is to have a trouble free weekend. Also, the Bahrain circuit characteristics should suit our car better than Sepang so we may be stronger here than in Malaysia, relative to the competition.

“I obviously know the Bahrain circuit well after the tests and, like Malaysia, that means we can get on with the program right from the first laps in FP1. We have a lot of data that’s helping us go to the race with a much clearer idea of where we want to go with setup than we’ve had in either Australia or Malaysia, but it would also be really helpful if we can have the sort of reliability we had in the second pre-season test – mileage is what will help us unlock the full performance of this year’s car, and I know how hard both Renault and our team are working to make sure we can do that.”

Robin Frijns, driving FP1 in Kamui Kobayashi’s car, and driving in the Bahrain test (day TBC): “I’m excited about being back in the car for my first FP1 of the 2014 season with Caterham, especially as I already have experience of the car at Bahrain from the day I did in the pre-season tests. It’ll be interesting to see how much progress we’ve made across the whole car since I last drove it, but my focus will be on helping the team prepare for the race weekend, something I know I can add value to, assuming we have a problem-free session!

“After the race weekend we’re staying on for the first of the in-season tests and I’m doing one of the two days of that test. Obviously that’s a different proposition to an FP1 – quite a lot less pressure, more time on track and a much bigger runplan, but it’s still really important to approach that day with the same focus and determination to do as well as I can for the team. It’s another chance for me to continue to learn as much as I can about operating efficiently with the team on track, building on the work I’ve been doing with them in the simulator back at Leafield, and I can’t wait to get back to work!”

Caterham Race Report Malaysian Grand Prix 2014

March 31, 2014

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2014 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Sunday 30th March 2014

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Weather
Race: dry, sunny, air temp 32° / track temp 51° (start), 32° / 49° (lap 28), 31° / 45° (lap 56)

Runplan
Kamui Kobayashi
Lap 15: pitstop 1, option tyres
Lap 31: pitstop 2, prime tyres
Finished: 13th
Fastest lap: 1.47.753 (lap 53)

Marcus Ericsson
Lap 11: pitstop 1, option tyres
Lap 26: pitstop 2, option tyres
Lap 38: pitstop 3, hard tyres
Finished 14th
Fastest lap: 1.47.500 (lap 40)

Team Quotes

Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-03: “13th in our second race of the season is a very good result for the team, especially after such a bad weekend until the race! I had a great start, and no brake problems this time going into turn one, and by the end of the first lap I was up to 16th, running at the same pace as Sutil just ahead and with the car performing much better than it had all weekend.

“We were looking at what was going on around us and with the good tyre degradation we had we adapted the strategy and decided to go long on the first stint on options, finally boxing on lap 15, going out again on another set of mediums which were working well right from the first lap of the second stint. I was ahead of Chilton and found really good pace on the new set of tyres and I went after the Saubers ahead and was catching them fast. We stopped for the second time on lap 32 and went onto the primes for the final stint, knowing it would be a long run to the flag but also knowing that if we kept it on the track we could have a good finish, and that’s how it turned out.

“13th place in Malaysia puts us back in tenth in the championship and gives everyone the sort of boost we needed. There’s still a huge amount of work to do and a lot of today was new for me – that was the first time I’ve driven the car on full tanks on these tyres and we obviously have to keep putting more performance on the car so we can really fight one or two of the teams ahead. That looks like it’s a realistic target at this stage, but for now, focusing on today, finally we’ve had a good day and we should be happy about that.”

Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-01: “First I want to thank the boys in the garage for working so hard to fix my car after yesterday’s accident. I was feeling a bit low last night, but to have finished my first full Grand Prix in 14th, helping us move up into tenth place in the constructors’ championship, is a great feeling, for me and everyone in Caterham.

“My start couldn’t have been much better – I passed both Marussias and was right up with Kamui by the end of lap one in 17th having made up five places. I was quickly into a good rhythm and keeping pace with my teammate but about ten laps into the first stint I started having some issues with the rear grip which was costing me a bit of time.  We boxed for the first time on lap 11 but had a problem during the stop and I came out behind Chilton and Vergne. The second stint was really good – to be honest I was a bit surprised that I was fighting Raikkonen but he and Vergne made a couple of moves on me which I was able to defend, and then I went after Chilton. We boxed for another set of new options on lap 26 and I came back out ahead of the Marussia and focused on pulling away from him.

“I stayed ahead of Chilton after the third stop for the primes and from there I just wanted to get the car home. It was all ok until the last couple of laps when I started losing power, and I finished just ahead of the Marussia at the line as he’d been almost able to catch me with the ERS issue, but that 14th place, by 0.1 seconds, is what puts us into tenth so I’m really glad I could hang on. That tiny margin also shows that every single detail counts at this level of competition, and the tiniest advantage can make a big difference.

“It’s been a tough weekend, really tough for everyone, but we’ll head to Bahrain knowing we have something to build on, and something to defend. That’s a big positive and I can’t wait to get back in the car in a few days time and start all over again.”

Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “A busy but fun race for us, with a solid double finish which we really needed after two difficult weekends. Kamui did a great job to finish a strong 13th, as did Marcus who finished his first full race in 14th. We kept tweaking Kamui’s settings over the race to give more driveability, energy and fuel management from the Power Unit and let him fight on track and Marcus also had a good race, but it got a bit difficult towards the end when we picked up some issues with the ERS. We started to lose some power to both MGUs on Marcus’ car but we made it to the flag, which was very important. We will look at what happened and correct for Bahrain.”

 

Caterham Qualifying Malaysian Grand Prix 2014

March 31, 2014

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2014 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX – FP3 & QUALIFYING

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Saturday 29th March 2014

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Weather
FP3: Overcast, dry; min / max track temp 44° – 46°, air temp 30° – 32°
Q1: Wet; min / max track temp 30°, air temp 28°

Fastest laps / positions:
FP3: ERI 1.44.457, 19th / KOB 1.46.015, 20th
Q1: KOB 2.03.595, 20th / ERI 2.04.407, 22nd

Total laps:
FP3: ERI 12 / KOB 7
Q1: KOB 8 / ERI 7

Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-#02: “Yet more problems with the car meant I was only able to complete seven laps in FP3. Even with that limited running we were still able to make a bit of progress, and with the data generated from my teammate’s car we were able to set the car up for quali, but obviously this isn’t how we are going to find out what the car is really capable of.

“In quali we went out with the pack on inters and as much as I was pushing I wasn’t able to get any more out of the car, especially as I couldn’t get the inters into their working range so never had them running properly. Bearing in mind the tiny number of laps we did all weekend, and the problems we had on Saturday morning, the fact we were even running in qualifying was down to the hard work the team put in, so to have got out there and put in laps after all the problems we’ve had is a small reward. Now we focus on tomorrow and hope we can have a full race. If it rains like it did today anything could happen – I just want the chance to race properly!”

Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-#01: “After the first FP3 run it was clear we’d made a good step from last night, both with the overall handling and with the driveability of the power unit. On the first run we were out on the primes and even though it was an improvement from Friday there was still pretty low grip. We then did one run on options with a couple of setup changes and the car immediately felt better, still not really close to an optimum setup but a bit closer. Unfortunately after that second run we found an oil leak which meant we had to end the session just after the performance run, but we went into qualifying with a bit of an idea of where we would be in terms of outright pace in the dry.

“The rain started before quali and we went into the delayed session knowing we’d start on a wet track. That was my first ever wet running in F1, in any session, so from the first lap it was all a new experience for me. It didn’t start too well with the car cutting out while I was waiting in the pitlane, but we fired it up again in the garage and I rejoined right in the middle of a pack of cars on their first Q1 quick laps – that was pretty interesting I have to say!

“With every lap I was learning more and more and we made a quick stop with a few minutes left to put on another set of inters, but then on the final quick lap I made a mistake in sector one and crashed. I’m really sorry for the team. They’ve worked so hard all weekend on the problems we’ve had, and now they have another huge job ahead of them to prepare the car for tomorrow, but I know they’ll keep pushing and we’ll all come back fighting tomorrow. This has been another big lesson for me – my first wet running in F1, my first Q1 on inters and my first big off – it’s all part of being a rookie in F1 and I will learn from every single thing that happens.”

Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “A disappointing day and it’s fair to say we expected more. The rain sometimes gives opportunities to move up but it didn’t happen today. On the Power Unit side everything went relatively smoothly, with no major problems, but conditions were very difficult. Hopefully we can do something from those positions tomorrow.”

Caterham Preview Malaysian Grand Prix 2014

March 31, 2014

Header

 

2014 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIXVIEW

Leafield Technical Centre, UK – 21st March 2014

General
Race Laps: 56
Very high ambient temperature and humidity
Grip normally gradually increases through the weekend.
No major bumps (track was re-surfaced after 2007 race)
Kerbs not a problem
Top speed can be reached in either T1 or T15 depending on wind direction
Medium brake severity
Traction issues and understeer in high speed sections are main balance issues

Circuit Particularity
Bumpiness: low
Overtaking chance: T15
Kerbs: smooth
Ride height setting particularity: none
Engine severity: high
Gearbox severity: medium
Lat/Long grip: lateral
Aero eff ratio: medium
Track grip evo during w/e: medium / high
Aero settings: high
Brake wear severity: medium
Brake cooling necessity: medium

Malaysian GP lowdown with Renault Sport F1 track support leader, Cedrik Staudohar

Main challenges of Sepang for the Power Units: “Like Australia, managing fuel consumption in Sepang will be quite a challenge. Of the six main components of the PU, the ICE will be under the most pressure in Sepang. In the past, the humidity has made Sepang a little bit easier on engines since power comes down as the water content in the air increases. With a turbo engine, however, the air intake is controlled at all times regardless of ambient conditions, so those two long straights will really start to hurt.”

Main energy recovery points: “The two long straights of over 1km each give plenty of opportunity for the MGU-H to be recharged. The heavy braking points of the hairpin (Turn 15), first corner complex and the mid to low speed corners in the third sector should allow the MGU-K to recover energy to feed back into the battery.”

Difficulty rating: “One of the hardest of the year for the Power Unit due to the long straights. The high air temperature is usually a concern as we have to choose the correct cooling level. The high chance of rain could also make the cars difficult to control due to the increased torque and lack of grip so the focus will be on good driveability without too much wheelspin.”

What to watch out for: “The start of the weekend in Melbourne was disappointing as we got to grips with a variety of small, but destructive, problems. After a much more positive qualifying we were hopeful of a finish in the race but a couple of issues, on the chassis and engine side, stopped the cars. Our aim is clearly to have a clean weekend this time out.”

Caterham F1 Team Driver Quotes

Kamui Kobayashi, car #10: “The second race of the year is Malaysia and it’s our team’s first home race of the year, so it’s going to be a good week! 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 if we’re going to have a stronger weekend at Sepang.

“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 program we can give ourselves the opportunity to show the true pace of the car, and prepare much more for the race. Obviously, I’d like to also make sure I don’t have the same brake problems that caused the accident in turn one in Australia – without that I think we’d have had a strong race and we’ll work as hard as we can to give ourselves the chance to really perform.

“Off track we’re going to be busy, especially on Tuesday night when I’m at a Renault event at Sepang and on Wednesday when we have a very packed schedule meeting sponsors and fans. We’ll be at the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday afternoon from about 2pm meeting our fans so if anyone is in KL that afternoon they should come along. We’re also going to see AirAsia’s head office on Wednesday afternoon and meet their staff, so it’ll be good to see one of Tony’s other teams in action!”

Marcus Ericsson, car #9: “I can’t wait to get back in the car, especially after having a really good race until the oil pressure problem forced us to stop in Australia. It’s been great to read so many nice comments about what we did in the race after such a bad Friday, but now I want to get on with it again and go straight back to work.

“Sepang’s a track I’ve already raced on, so that’s obviously an advantage over Australia. I really like the heat and have trained hard all through the winter to prepare for races like Malaysia, so I’ll be 100% ready physically, but I’m still just loving being in F1 and for race two to be a home race for Caterham and on a track I know and like, that’s just really good for me. It’ll be great to see how much Caterham means to the Malaysian fans, and I’ve been told the autograph session on Sunday will be one of the real highlights of the year, so there’s a lot to be excited about!

“We obviously need a stronger weekend on track overall, and I know they guys back at the factory and at 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.”

Caterham Race Report Australian Grand Prix 2014

March 31, 2014

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2014 Australian Grand Prix

Melbourne, Australia – 16th March 2014

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Runplan
Kamui Kobayashi
DNF

Marcus Ericsson
Lap 23: pitstop 1, option tyres
DNF
Fastest lap: 1.37.064 (lap 26)

Team Quotes

Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-#02: “That isn’t how I wanted my first race back to go, and I’m sorry for the team and for Felipe that both our races ended early. I had a really good start but then into turn one I made contact with Felipe. From the initial data it looked like I had a brake system issue which obviously meant I couldn’t do much about the contact and when we got the car back and looked at the information in much more detail it was clear that was the problem. After the race I went to the Stewards and they went through the data from the car and confirmed this was the case. We’ll have a close look at what caused that problem and make sure we fix it.

“It’s been a tough weekend for us, but we still have a lot more data that will help us keep improving, and the really positive thing is that we were still quite competitive, even with the issues we had on Friday. Race two is Malaysia, one of our team’s home races, and we’ll keep pushing there, just as we will all weekend.”

Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-#01: “Even though my first race in F1 ended with a DNF I’m still proud of the way we fought today. It’s been a very difficult weekend overall, one of the hardest in my whole career, but we still showed a bit of the potential we have in the first laps of the first stint when I passed Sutil and was running well in twelfth. My first ever live pitstop a Grand Prix went really well but then unfortunately an oil pressure problem forced us to stop – we don’t know what caused that yet but if we hadn’t had that I think we’d have finished ahead of the Marussias as I was pretty comfortable ahead of Chilton until the issue.

“Friday was tough, obviously, but we had a better Saturday and then today we started to show some of the race pace this car has. For the last few laps of the first stint I was driving with pretty flat spotted tyres but the rear was still behaving well and the Power Unit felt good. That’s encouraging for the next race in Malaysia which is on a track I’ve raced at before and one I like, so I’m leaving Australia in a positive frame of mind and just want to get on with it again as soon as possible!”

Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 Track Support Leader: “It was a shame that Kamui retired so early on as we had a strong start but his accident was due to an issue with the rear brakes on the formation lap. After that we focused all our attention on Marcus and it was going well, running in the top 12 for much of the first stint. Then the engine oil level started to decrease dramatically, so to save the Power Unit for future races we stopped the car. We’ve learnt a huge amount from this weekend. We know the car is fundamentally OK and once we’ve looked at all the gremlins, we are sure we will come back stronger in Malaysia and get to the finish.”

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