Caterham Endure Torrid Melbourne Race

by Jake Handley

Caterham Racing endured a torrid race in Australia, with both Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson failing to finish the 2014 opener.

Kobayashi, who was making his return to F1 in the race, crashed out at the start after his Brake-By-Wire system failed on his CT05, sending him into Kimi Raikkoenen and then Felipe Massa, ending his race on the spot.

“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,” said Kobayashi.  “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.”

Ericcson’s race meanwhile lasted more than one lap, with the Swedish rookie making it to lap 19 before pulling up his No.9 CT05 with an oil pressure issue. He did, however, make his first Formula One pitstop during the race.

“Even though my first race in F1 ended with a DNF I’m still proud of the way we fought today,” said Ericcson. “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 (Adrian) 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 Marussia’s as I was pretty comfortable ahead of (Max) Chilton until the issue.”

Summing up Sunday’s race, Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1’s Track Support Leader, said: “It was a shame that Kamui retired as 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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