The Caterham F1 Team arrive in Hungary confident of being able to close down the gap to their main rivals in the championship. The recent upgrades added to the cars have given both Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson the opportunity to get closer to Marussia and the midfield pack, and both are hopeful that progress continues into the Hungaroring.
Kobayashi is looking forward to returning to the Hungaroring, but is realistic about his chances of a good result. He knows that tyre management is going to be problematic on a relatively abrasive circuit and with the predicted high temperatures.
“The last race before the August break is Hungary, another really popular race with both fans and everyone in F1,” said Kobayashi. “For me one of my best memories of the Hungarian GP is 2010, the first time I raced on this track in F1. I had a grid penalty for something so had to start on the last row, in 23rd, but I overtook about six or seven cars on the first lap and then finished in the points! I think we’re realistic enough to know that probably won’t be possible this year, but we’ll still go there ready to fight as hard as we can, and hopefully come away with something positive.
“On track the Hungaroring isn’t one of the most challenging circuits we race on, but one of the keys to a good time is to find a rhythm, especially in sector two. You need to let the corners flow, one after the other, and with the high temperatures we usually have there and the tyre choice being soft and mediums, tyre management will be even more important than normal.”
For Ericsson, a clean weekend is his priority after a number of issues have meant the Swede has started the past few Grand Prix on the back foot. He is looking forward to the Hungaroring, and especially the support he gets from his Swedish fans that traditionally make the trip to the circuit.
“Straight on to Hungary after the German GP and another chance to take the fight to the cars ahead,” said Ericsson. “For the last couple of races I’ve had a few issues that compromised my race before it started, so I’m targeting a clean weekend with maximum track time, especially in qualifying after what happened in Hockenheim.
“I’ve always had great support in Hungary. It’s one of the races a lot of Swedish fans come to and after seeing so many Swedish flags in Germany I’m looking forward to the same at the Hungaroring. This time I want to give them something to cheer for all weekend, especially on Sunday, so it’s important we have good reliability across the whole package, giving us the chance to fight in qualifying and race properly on Sunday.”
Team Principal Christijan Albers is happy with the apparent progress the team are making since he took control at the beginning of the month. He believes the team are beginning to close down the gap to their rivals directly in front of them, and is hopeful that gap can be further closed in Hungary.
“We now have completed two races since taking over the team and I have to say I am pleased with the progress we are making,” said Albers. “In Germany the gap to our competitors was closer than it has been for several races and we are definitely aiming to continue that progress in Hungary.
“We can keep making small but significant improvements across the whole team, both on track and at the factory, and they will contribute to our on-going development.”