Caterham Preview Chinese Grand Prix 2014

April 13, 2014




Leafield Technical Centre, UK – 11th April, 2014

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.”

Red Bull Race Report Bahrain Grand Prix 2014

April 7, 2014

Sunday 6 April 2014

DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: 4th, Start Position: 13th

“It was an awesome race; it was exciting. I think the first stint was a bit follow-the-leader, but from the second stint onwards, the race really started to turn up the heat and there were more battles going on in front and behind – it was good to be a part of them. We got close to the podium today, I think within half a second, so I was doing all I could. The car came to me as the race went on and I was happy with how I moved up through the pack, so a good day. It was good fun to race Sebastian, it was hard but fair and we left each other room. That’s what we want from each other and we discussed it beforehand, we’re racers and that’s what we enjoy doing.”

SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Finish Position: 6th, Start Position: 10th

“I think it was a busy race today, especially at the end after the safety car, but it’s a shame we couldn’t get further up. Daniel proved that there was a little bit more to get from the car today, I couldn’t really get to that bit, so I’m not so happy with my day. For some reason we seemed to be really slow on the straights, and not just against the Mercedes. Merc has a stronger package, so there’s work ahead of us. It was straight forward with Daniel today, we worked well together as a team and we raced well, but surely I would like to have finished higher up.” 
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A very interesting race today and great entertainment; I think we got everything out of it that we could. The drivers worked together as a team earlier in the race when they were on different tyre strategies and then raced each other hard at the end of the race. Daniel put in a great drive and, with another lap, possibly could have made it to the podium. It was good to see them both racing each other cleanly and fairly. Sebastian reported a problem in a straight line, which we need to investigate because he didn’t manage to overtake anyone at the end of the straight all afternoon, so there’s plenty of work to do. We got a good haul of points today and we now have a couple of days testing to try and further close that gap to Mercedes.”

THIERRY SALVI, Renault: “It was a tight race for us as we were trying to stay with the middle group all race. We were simply not able to fight at the right level, so a lot of work has to be done to extract the maximum from our power unit. Dan did a good job all race and was able to move up after the safety car: he was quite impressive. Seb struggled more, especially at the end where he was missing some top speed to stay with Daniel. We still have a lot to optimize, but the progress and steps will be big and we will learn even more during the test session in the coming days. This will help us to come back stronger and to give our drivers the power unit they need to fight at the front.”


Caterham Qualifying Bahrain Grand Prix 2014

April 7, 2014




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.

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.”

Red Bull Race Report Malaysian Grand Prix 2014

March 31, 2014


Sunday 30 March 2014

 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Finish Position: 3rd, Start Position: 2nd
“We have certainly made a good step forwards, but we still have a lot of work to do. It’s great to get a podium finish today. Considering where we were, not even two months ago, I think this weekend is a massive step in the right direction. It’s a shame we didn’t finish with both cars, but it’s good to see the car is quick and we need the laps; for now it’s important to collect points. The guys are pushing back in the factory and at Renault – it’s been a massive job from them – and we’ll try to be up there very soon again. It was a shame to lose a place at the start, but third was our maximum position today, so I’m very happy with that. It’s a shame for Daniel with what happened, he drove really well.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: DNF, Start Position: 5th
“It was looking like we could have a solid points finish today; the race was going pretty well. The start was really good and I made up a couple of positions and I was starting to, let’s say, mix it up at the front, which is nice. It’s fun being up there and fighting for the top few spots, but then we had a problem at the last pit stop and then we had a puncture. I think we had a front wing failure and a few other things went on and then the stop-go penalty, so the race ended pretty quickly for us, it went from looking good to looking pretty bad in a short amount of time. I’m really disappointed, but at the same time there’s a little bit in me which is happy because I think I’ve come out the first two races how I wanted to, in a way. I still want to improve, but we’ve started off on the right foot, so for that I’m pleased and with a little bit of luck we’ll turn things around soon and I’ll get some points. I love racing up the front, it’s been a privilege so far and a lot of fun in the last couple of races. It’s a bit addictive actually, I want more, so you’ll see me up there plenty of times this year.”

 CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “Considering where we were a month ago, to be on the podium with Sebastian in Malaysia in a dry race, is an incredible performance. We knew that we had some ground to catch up to the Mercedes, so to finish as close as Sebastian did today was a really positive performance and, while we know we’ve got a lot of work to do, we can begin to realise the scale of our challenge. It’s a great shame for Daniel who did everything right today – a great start and a great first lap and a really impressive opening part of the race. It was unlucky that when he came in to a pit stop; the front left didn’t go on properly and the car was released, it was judged to be an unsafe release and we had a drive through penalty. Thereafter the wing failed – we don’t know what caused that yet. I think Daniel’s clearly shown his potential and that the Australian GP wasn’t a one off; it’s great to have two guys pushing like they are.”

 THIERRY SALVI, Renault: “A great race for Sebastian to get his first podium of the season. Everything worked as expected on the Power Unit and we managed the fuel and energy well. One of the main concerns in the heat here is the charged air temperature to the turbo, but we didn’t have any issues today. Daniel was unlucky again – he lost time in the pits and then retired. But we have seen that we have the potential to challenge for the podium with both cars now, which shows the huge effort put in since winter testing by both Milton Keynes and Viry.”

Caterham Preview Malaysian Grand Prix 2014

March 31, 2014




Leafield Technical Centre, UK – 21st March 2014

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 Jerez Test Day Four

February 6, 2014

Header 2



Jerez, Spain – 31st January 2014

Driver: Kamui Kobayashi

Chassis: CT05-#01

Total laps: 54

Driver: Kamui Kobayashi

Chassis: CT05-#01

Total laps: 54

Kamui Kobayashi: “First I want to say thank you to the whole team for making me feel so at home so quickly. My first day in the car may have ended earlier than we’d planned after another problem with the Renault engine, but, from where we’ve been earlier this week, it’s very good to have completed 54 laps. For me, it was also good to be back in an F1 car and to be working with a team that I’m already feeling very happy with.

“In the morning we started on a very damp track so we were on full wets until about 1030 when we went onto inters as the track was starting to dry. We were working through a number of different engine maps and were definitely making progress but just after lunch we had another engine problem which meant we had to stop.

“We were going to try some longer runs in the afternoon, and I’m sure we’d have made more progress, but now we’ll go back to the factory to work through all the information from this test and aim to build on our better last day here when we get to Bahrain.”

Cedrik Staudohar, Track Support Leader, Renault Sport F1: “Despite having to finish our Friday a couple of hours before the end of the session, this was still a much better day for us. We were able to work through a busy program with Kamui, looking at different engine maps and torque settings and, until the issue that stopped us running, it was clear that we made some progress on reliability.”

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal, Caterham F1 Team: “I’m pleased for the whole team that we managed to finish the test with a more decent number of laps today, but there is still clearly a lot of work to do to prepare for the next test. Obviously a lot of the focus is on Renault, and it is imperative that they make significant progress on all areas of engine performance and reliability, but we are in partnership with them and we will work as closely as we always have to help them find solutions and deliver the package we know they can on track.

“For our team, it’s been a tough but interesting week and I’m proud of how hard everyone on track in Spain and back at base in Leafield has been working. We’ve given Marcus, Kamui and Robin tracktime, albeit limited in Marcus and Robin’s cases, and I’m pleased to see how well all three are fitting into the team.

“Now we have just over two weeks to prepare for the Bahrain tests and everyone is ready for the work that lies ahead. Our 60% scale wind-tunnel program at TMG in Cologne also started on Tuesday, the first day on track in Spain, and that’s a big plus for us as we look to develop CT05 now and throughout the season to come.”

Red Bull Qualifying Brazilian Grand Prix 2013

January 2, 2014


Saturday 23 November 2013


 Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: POLE POSITION, (3rd Practice – P17, 1:31.857)

“It was a surprise to get that time today. I was happy after Q3, it took a long time for us to get out as there was a lot of rain at the end of Q2. There was too much water on track, which is a shame for the people in the grandstands, but if there’s too much risk of aquaplaning, it’s better to wait. We then got out and I was surprised by how much the water had cleared.

I went straight onto intermediates and was able to get a very good lap in straight away. I tried to beat that and got close, but it wasn’t enough. I was very happy to hear I got pole, I even mixed up Spanish and Portuguese on the radio! Hopefully we get a good chance tomorrow. We only had little practice in these conditions, but we still got the car where we wanted it, so I’m very happy.”

 Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: 4th, (3rd Practice – P1, 1:27.891)

“We are where we deserved to be I think, as I didn’t feel that quick in qualifying. The car felt slow and I was struggling for grip. It was tricky for all of us, but we’re on the second row and we can still do something from there.

It’s tricky to get it all together in those conditions, I wasn’t too comfortable in Q1 and Q2 on the intermediate tyres, but that’s the way it goes. There’s not much more to add really than it was tricky, it’s easier to be a lot further back in those conditions and we can still do something from fourth, so let’s see tomorrow.”

 CHRISTIAN HORNER: “A very difficult three qualifying sessions with changeable weather. It was a matter of navigating your way through the first two sessions to get into Q3, which then started off very wet. Once they went out, both drivers elected to change to intermediates tyres very early, which gave them three laps each.

Sebastian produced a stunning lap on his first, to claim his ninth pole of the year by an impressive margin. Mark backed that up in his final Formula One qualifying session to start on the second row of the grid to endorse two very strong starting positions for the last race of the year.

It’s incredible to think that Mark will be heading out for his final Formula One race tomorrow. He has been with us for many years and his career has spanned 214 race starts, which will become 215 tomorrow. He’s already achieved nine wins, 41 podiums and 13 pole positions in Formula One; he’s a tough competitor and I’ve no doubt he will be looking to add to his impressive win tally tomorrow.”

 (Renault) THIERRY SALVI: “It was a hard exercise with the wet conditions today. Tuning the car to be able to extract the most of the wet tyres was again a challenge. I think the team managed the qualy timing in a very good way and was able to do a lot of laps in all sessions. Seb showed again how comfortable he is driving the car, even with heavy rain. Let’s see how things go tomorrow. It’s the last race for the RS27 so it would be good to end it on a high if we can.

Red Bull Qualifying U.S. Grand Prix 2013

January 2, 2014


Saturday 16 November 2013


 Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: POLE POSITION, (3rd Practice – P1, 1:36.733)
“It’s obviously great for the team to have both cars on the front row for tomorrow. It was a tricky session as the wind had picked up quite a bit since this morning; it does influence the behaviour of the car and it’s not that easy, especially in the corners, I wasn’t that happy with my first run in Q3, but I think I had a solid run at the end which was enough.

It was very close with Mark, he seemed to get closer and closer as the weekend went on, so fortunately I was just able to stay ahead. I think he might have had a mistake on his final run. I’m very happy with pole position today, I like this place and the circuit and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. It’s important to start on the clean side, so we’ll see what we can do.”

 Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: 2nd, (3rd Practice – P2, 1:36.936)
“I didn’t think I had done enough on the second run in Q3, we (Seb and I) both had two shots with two sets of options. The first part of my final lap was very good, I was happy with that, but I didn’t quite get Turns 19 and 20; if I’d done what I did there initially in Q3, it would probably have been enough, but I tried to squeeze a bit more out and it’s easy to load the car a bit too much in these conditions. Sometimes you’re happy and think you’ve given your best, but today it slipped through the fingers.

Well done to Seb, he put the three sectors together and I put two and a half together. I just dropped it in the last sector and it’s not satisfying when you do that, but I’m still pretty happy with second.”

 CHRISTIAN HORNER: “A fantastic performance from both drivers today in what was a really exciting Q3. It yo-yoed between Mark and Sebastian trading fastest sectors and in the end Sebastian, by the smallest of margins, managed to achieve the pole and a team front row lock out, with Mark joining him alongside. It was a great team performance and a great 40th birthday present!”

(Renault) THIERRY SALVI: “A great result in qualifying today, with another full front row. The gap between Red Bull and the third car emphasises the competitiveness of our package yet again: no one was able to go quicker in the US today. Both drivers challenged each other, with Mark being quicker on the first run in Q3 and then the other way on the final run. Now the baseline is done, we have to confirm that result tomorrow and push to the maximum from the start of the race. Let’s see how it goes.”

Caterham Preview Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2013

January 1, 2014

Header 5



Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi – 30th October 2013

Race Laps: 55
High percentage of low and medium speed corners, like Hungary but with two long straights
Limited number of high speed corners: T2-T3 & T20
High fuel effect circuit
Medium-high brake energy but two high power braking zones
Braking stability & good brake cooling are very important
No major bumps on track
No kerbs are high but landing from kerb is very important for traction
In FP1 the track is usually dusty and green but the circuit evolves very quickly
Main observation is track temperature change: In FP1 and FP3 the ground temperature can be around 40°C, while for FP2, quali and the race it is often around 30°C – this is an important consideration for tyre evaluation and setup work

2012 Weather
Air/Track temp ( C): 31 / 42
Pitlane altitude (m): 0
ATM Press (HPA): 1011
Hum (%): 53
Wind (kph): S 1

2012 Timing
P1: HAM (1:40.630 Q3)
P2: WEB (1:40.978 Q3)
P3:  VET (1:41.073 Q3)
CF1T best: P19 KOV (1:44.956 Q1)

P1: RAI (1:44.450 L50)
P2: ALO (1:44.090 L53)
P3: VET (1:43.964 L54)
CF1T best: P13 KOV (1:47.115 L51)

Circuit Particularity
Bumpiness: low
Overtaking chance: T8, T11
Kerbs: smooth
Ride height setting particularity: low
Engine severity: medium
Gearbox severity: medium / high
Lat/Long grip: medium
Aero eff ratio: low
Safety car history: 2012 – 2 (laps 9 – 14, 39 – 42), 2011 – none, 2010 – 1 (laps 1 – 5)  
Track grip evo during w/e: high
Aero settings: high
Brake wear severity: medium / high
Brake cooling necessity: high

Driver quotes

Charles Pic: “India didn’t go to plan at all, but with Abu Dhabi back-to-back with the Indian GP we have the chance to come back right away at a track we all know very well. Our car does seem to perform better when the track conditions are hot and even though we race from the late afternoon into the evening, it’s still hot so we are definitely aiming to get back to the performance levels we’ve targeted for this stage of the season.

“Before going to Abu Dhabi I’m doing a couple of days filming in Dubai with Renault and what they have planned looks really cool. I’m excited about seeing how it all comes out and even though it’s obviously still work it will be a good way to relax away from the circuit for a few days.

“After the filming I’ll be going to Abdu Dhabi and straight to work on Thursday. The track itself is a good technical challenge for both drivers and engineers and grip levels evolve a lot as the weekend continues but one thing we have to watch closely is how the tyre behaviour changes as the track temperatures go up and down – they can differ by up to 10°c between FP3 and qualifying so understanding how to get the best out of the tyres in the different conditions is very important. It’s also a track where you can overtake, at the end of the two long straights, so with DRS and KERS it’s a track where you do see fights up and down the grid – and that’s what both the fans and the drivers want!”

Giedo van der Garde: “Straight on to Abu Dhabi and race 17. I have a couple of days off to recharge after India which was obviously a disappointing end to what had been a pretty good weekend until my race ended so early. It’s good that the next race is in Abu Dhabi as it’s a track I know well having raced there in GP2 and run for two days in the F1 rookie test last year with Caterham.

“For me Abu Dhabi’s a great place to race, for the teams and fans. People used to have a go at the circuit layout but I think it’s pretty cool. The garages are air conditioned, the only ones like that anywhere we race,  and that makes life a bit easier for the boys in the garage. That’s important, particularly as we go to Abu Dhabi straight after India, but it’s not just that, it’s everything about the circuit that makes it a great race. The organisers have worked really hard to put on a lot of entertainment for the fans, not just the racing, the facilities are top class and there’s a really good atmosphere around the whole place for the race week.

“After a tough couple of races the main goal is obviously to get back to the performance levels we were putting in at races like Spa. We have the pace on Sundays to fight, we have the determination to keep pushing the teams ahead and maybe we just need a bit of the luck that seems to have deserted us recently. Our time will come, I’m sure of that.”

Red Bull Qualifying Korean Grand Prix 2013

December 31, 2013


Saturday 5 October 2013

Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: POLE POSITION, (3rd Practice – P1, 1:37.881)
“It was close today. I had a very good lap in Q3 on my first attempt and thought I would find it hard to do better. On my second attempt I caught Kimi on the warm up lap and didn’t have time to drop back, but fortunately the first lap was good enough. Mercedes were strong and seem to be comfortable in the middle sector. We’re good in Sector one this year which a surprise as that’s mostly straights. We improved the car from yesterday as I wasn’t entirely happy with it after the second practice. In terms of conditions, we should be okay if it’s dry or wet tomorrow; it’s not clear if we get some rain from the typhoon, but let’s see what happens.”

Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: 3rd, (3rd Practice – P2, 1:38.018)
“We had to take a bit of pace out of the car for qualifying, not much, but it was about how we would compromise between qualifying and the race tomorrow. I’m pretty happy, I could be two positions further up but that would mean, with the penalty, I would be 11th rather than 13th. It was a pretty tight qualifying with the two Mercedes, Seb and myself. Tomorrow’s race will be interesting, I will be out of position, but we’ll fight and come back through. I think we improved the car in some areas from yesterday.”

CHRISTIAN HORNER: “An exciting qualifying today and a great first run in Q3 for Sebastian, which proved to be the lap that achieved the pole position. It was a very strong performance from Mark and it’s a shame that he now has to take a ten-place penalty, but we’ve set the car up with that in mind and hopefully he can make good progress tomorrow. Congratulations to Renault on achieving their 208th pole position, which matches the all-time record of Ferrari.” 

(Renault) THIERRY SALVI: “The car has been working very well all weekend and in the end all it took was one great lap by Sebastian in the start of the session to secure his third consecutive pole. Mark pushed hard and this position limits the damage his ten-place penalty will inflict tomorrow. We know our rivals will try to reset the pole advantage in the race so we need to stay on top to get the maximum from the car, which is again the quickest package of the paddock. On another note the pole is a great feeling for Renault as it takes our tally of pole positions in F1 to 208, equaling Ferrari’s record. We’re very proud to have achieved this with Red Bull Racing.”

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