After defying the odds and making it to Abu Dhabi, the Caterham F1 Team managed to get debutant Will Stevens home to see the chequered flag in seventeenth position, but team-mate Kamui Kobayashi was unfortunately forced to retire.
Kobayashi was disappointed to end his race and season early, retiring with just twelve laps to go, but felt it was the safer option with a vibration on his Caterham making the car virtually un-driveable. He praised the team for their hard work this weekend, and admitted he was enjoying himself out on track.
“It’s a real shame to finish the season with a retirement,” said Kobayashi. “But unfortunately this is what happened: I started to feel some strange vibration on the car and a couple of laps later it started to be un-driveable, so the team decided to retire the car for precaution. Up until then, it had been a solid race, we had found a good pace and I was enjoying myself.
“Overall, it’s been a very positive weekend and I’ve been impressed with the whole team’s effort – it wasn’t an easy task but, thanks to the fans continuous support, we got here and they gave us that extra boost to carry on fighting.
“I also want to congratulate the team and thank everyone for their work and commitment throughout the season.”
Stevens was able to finish his first F1 race, something he had hoped to do before the race began. He also had his moment in the sun early in the race when he raced side-by-side with the Scuderia Ferrari of Fernando Alonso down the back straight after the Spaniard had made his early first pit stop. He felt his race got better the longer he was driving, and thanked the team for the opportunity.
“We completed the objective of the day, and that was to finish the race, which is good not only for me but also for the team – we can be pleased,” said Stevens. “I struggled quite a bit during my first stint on the Option tyre, trying to keep it up to temperature at the start during the formation lap, so I had a lot of graining on the front. But the middle stint wasn’t too bad and I was able to get into more of a rhythm.
“Towards the end I was feeling good in the car and it feels really good to have completed my first Formula 1 race! I want to thank all the fans once again for giving this team another chance to race, this is where we belong.”