The Caterham F1 Team arrive at Hockenheim for the German Grand Prix for their second race since their takeover was completed, with both Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson hopeful to fight back and close the gap on the teams they are fighting in the championship, most noticeably Marussia and Sauber. Along with Sauber, Caterham have yet to score a point in 2014.
For Kobayashi, he enjoys coming to Germany to race, and is hoping to put in a good performance after a very testing British Grand Prix where he had issues on Friday and Saturday during practice and qualifying, and then suffered damage on the opening lap as he was hit by debris from the crashed Ferrari of Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen that cost him valuable downforce and lap time.
“The last two races before the summer break are Germany and Hungary, both tracks I like but in particular Hockenheim – I have been testing and racing at this track so many times throughout my carrier since I came to Europe,” said Kobayashi. “So, in a way, this is one of my home tracks! The German Grand Prix, whether it’s at Hockenheim or Nurburgring always has fantastic support from the fans – it’s like Silverstone and the atmosphere, especially on Sunday at Hockenheim, is amazing!
“For us this will be another race where we aim to fight back against our nearest rivals. We did not see the full performance of the cars in Silverstone for various reasons, particularly for me as I had issues with the car on both Friday and Saturday. Then on Sunday I lost a chunk of downforce when I had to go off-track to avoid the shunt on lap one – that cost me so much lap time. So, I did not have a proper drive throughout the whole weekend! But I’m determined to make sure that all the problems are now gone and I’m ready to fight back in Germany and Hungary.”
Team-mate Ericsson is hoping to be in position to take advantage of any mishaps for his immediate rivals as he is keen to put the knowledge they learnt at the recent post-Silverstone test to good use at Hockenheim. He acknowledges that in the Caterham it will be a tough weekend from start to finish, but understands the importance of gaining mileage on the car as they look to close the gap to those ahead.
“Germany is one of the races I’ve been really looking forward to,” said Ericsson. “I know the track well as I’ve raced there in GP2 and I think it’ll be a great challenge in a 2014 F1 car – there’s a good mix of really quick bits and some slower corners where you can overtake, and the noise the German fans make all weekend is amazing! Actually, it’s one of the races that a lot of Swedish fans make it to, so seeing my country’s flags in the crowd – that’ll make it even more special.
“Inside the car I think we know it’s going to be another challenging weekend for us in terms of the pure pace, but the team learnt a lot from the two day test we did in Silverstone after the British GP and we’ll be looking to put that into practice on track. The key thing for me is to make sure we have maximum mileage all weekend, especially on Sunday when we need to be there at the end of the race.
“We’ve seen this year that the races are very unpredictable and for us that can create opportunities, but if we’re not on track when the chequered flag falls we can’t take advantage of whatever’s happening around us, so that’s the main goal.”