It was another weekend to forget for the Caterham F1 Team in Hungary, with neither Kamui Kobayashi nor Marcus Ericsson seeing the chequered flag of the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Japanese driver retired with a fuel system issue, while the Swede crashed out early in the early wet conditions before the track dried.
Kobayashi was disappointed to suffer more mechanical gremlins in Hungary after making a good start and running up in fourteenth position. He was lucky not to be collected in an earlier clash between the Marussia of Jules Bianchi and the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado, and was running ahead of both of them when he retired.
“It’s obviously a shame we couldn’t finish the race today but an issue with the fuel system meant I had to stop the car as I had no power,” said Kobayashi. “My start was pretty good – I stayed on the outside to avoid any issues going into turn one and I had good traction out of the first corner, helping me pass a couple of cars and straight away I could push.
“The car felt good in the wet / dry conditions, they seem to suit us, and my pace in the first stint was pretty strong. We boxed for the first time on lap nine and rejoined on softs and again I had good pace, enough to push me up to 14th.
“I had a big moment with Maldonado when he span after making contact with Bianchi. That’s the third race in a row I’ve had a very near miss and this time I saw him hit the Marussia and then start spinning – I managed to turn in just enough to avoid him hitting me, but there must have only been millimetres in it!
“After that I was into a good rhythm and the balance was fine. We were going to run quite long on that set but then on lap 24 I lost power just after turn 12 and that was the end of my race.”
Ericsson was the first retirement in Hungary when he lost control of his car exiting turn three and hit the outside barrier hard, causing the safety car to be deployed. He felt he was having a good race up to then, but it was over far too early. He apologised to the team for the mistake and hopes the upgrades expected for the Belgian Grand Prix will help them move forward.
“It was quite a good race up until the point where I crashed on lap seven,” said Ericsson. “My start was ok and I was having a good fight with Chilton and Maldonado, trying to line them up through turn three and I was just a bit too eager in the throttle. The back stepped out and I couldn’t catch the car and that was it, I was in the wall.
“It was a pretty big shunt! I went to the medical centre straight after the crash and they told me it was about 20g, but physically I feel fine. I’m sorry for the guys on track and back at Leafield though – they put in 100% all the time and it’s obviously not a good feeling for them to see one of their cars in the wall, but we’ll come back fighting in Spa where we have some new parts and we’ll keep pushing, there and for the whole second half of the season.”