After showing good pace in the wet in Japan last weekend, Marcus Ericsson once again performed admirably, this time in the dry at Sochi, as the Caterham F1 Team continued their fight to move up in the championship standings as they battle Marussia and Sauber for ninth and tenth. Unfortunately Kamui Kobayashi was forced to retire, but the team have begun to show some promise.
Ericsson started sixteenth and was fighting with the Lotus and Sauber drivers in the early stages of the race before a switch to the Prime Pirelli tyres saw his pace drop and ultimately he fell away from the competition. Nonetheless he showed good pace and was running ahead of Kobayashi and Max Chilton when they both retired.
“The start to today’s race was a really good one – it was a strong first stint and I was able to pull-away from the Sauber and the Lotus behind without any problems, I felt really good,” insisted Ericsson. “But the second stint on the prime tyres wasn’t that good, I just couldn’t get them to work – I felt no grip and I struggled massively to switch them on and in the end the team decided to call me in again for a second pit-stop and by then the race was already over for us as we were too far from the Lotus. I feel a bit disappointed because it felt so good on the first stint; I think we could’ve had a better result.
“Overall it’s been another strong weekend, we’re improving continuously and we’ve demonstrated that we can fight with Lotus and Sauber not only today during the first part of the race, but also yesterday’s qualifying session. Now we just need to build on that and I look forward to the last three races of the season.”
Team-mate Kobayashi was surprised to be called into the pits to retire, with the team informing him after that the temperature of his brakes were an issue and it would be safer for him to retire.
“[It was] a disappointing Sunday,” reflected Kobayashi. “When I heard over the radio that I needed to pit I thought it was just a normal pit-stop, but then I was told that I needed to retire. It was all a bit of a surprise to me and at first I didn’t really know what the reason for having to stop was.
“The team has now analysed the telemetry and it was clear that my brakes were overheating too much. It’s a shame to end the weekend like this, but there’s not much more I could do today.”