It was a relatively positive Singapore Grand Prix for half of the Caterham F1 Team, with Marcus Ericsson finishing fifteenth having started at the back, but for Kamui Kobayashi his race was over before the red lights went out at the start.
Ericsson started at the back but used the introduction of the safety car to finish ahead of the two Marussia’s of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton, and the Swede felt it was his best performance of the season so far. He was happy he was able to conserve his tyres enough to hold off the Bianchi, on fresher tyres, at the end of the race.
“What a race, one of the best of my season so far, I have no doubt about it,” said Ericsson. “I’m very pleased and happy for the whole team – this result is a great way of saying thank you for all the hard work and effort they put in yesterday. We can be very happy as we beat our closest rivals fair and square after having struggled quite a lot to keep up with them this weekend.
“We maximised our performance today. We followed a great strategy and I didn’t make any mistakes. I’m very pleased but we have to carry on working as hard as ever in order to build on this and make progress every race.
“We decided to stay out on the Prime tyres and I knew that Bianchi was going to catch me as he pitted in front of me, so I prepared myself as best as possible for the final four laps. I managed the tyres well and kept him behind. A great effort!”
Team-mate Kobayashi did not even make the start, pulling over on the formation lap with a CU-H failure. He was disappointed not to make the start, admitting it sometimes happens in motorsport, but with his position within the team continually under threat he will wonder if he will be on the grid next time out at his home grand prix in Japan.
“What a frustrating way to end the race weekend here in Singapore,” said Kobayashi. “During the formation lap, all of a sudden I felt no power and then it smelt as if something was burning. Then I suddenly lost the brakes so I decided to stop the car because it was dangerous and I had nothing to do.
“I was really looking forward to this race and it’s a shame not to have been able to get out there and fight, but this happens sometimes in motorsport unfortunately.”
Manfredi Ravetto, who recently took over from Christijan Albers as Team Principal of Caterham, felt the team’s weekend ended on a positive note as they were to beat both Marussia’s with Ericsson despite seeing Kobayashi retiring before the race begun.
“It’s ended up being a very positive weekend here in Singapore,” insisted Ravetto. “We’ve managed to beat Sauber from a reliability point of view as well as beating Marussia out on track for the second race weekend in a row. We are definitely on our way up.
“I would like to thank every single member of the team, both here on track and back at the factory in Leafield – we’ve all worked very hard and I am proud of the whole team.”