After making it to Abu Dhabi after the crowdfunding project set up by their administrators raised sufficient money, the Caterham F1 Team got back on track and saw both Kamui Kobayashi and debutant Will Stevens run a number of relatively untroubled laps on Friday.
Stevens missed half of the first practice session after the fire extinguisher went off inside his cockpit, and his mechanics were forced to clear it up before he was able to get back on track. The Briton made steady improvements during the day, and is looking to step up even more on Saturday after analysing his day’s work overnight.
“I had been waiting for this day to arrive for a very long time – it didn’t start as well as I had hoped for, as a small technical issue meant I had to jump out of the car after only competing my installation lap,” said Stevens. “Luckily, the team did a great job and it got sorted out rapidly, meaning I could spend the rest of the day focusing on getting to grips with the car and completing as many laps as possible.
“In this afternoon’s session I already felt much more comfortable. We now need to work hard tonight and go through all the data gathered so that we drive out tomorrow well prepared. I’m happy with my race weekend so far, it’s definitely a steep learning curve, but I’m ready for the challenge and I want to thank all the fans out there that believed in the team and got us here to race.”
Kobayashi was happy to be able to be driving again after sitting out the previous two races, and was able to complete a problem-free day on track. He is looking forward to the rest of the Abu Dhabi weekend, and like Stevens thanked all of the fans who contributed to enable Caterham to race.
“It was great to be able to drive the car again,” insisted Kobayashi. “I’m really glad to be here and I’d like to thank all the fans out there who made this possible. It was a trouble-free Friday where we managed to complete plenty of laps – something that is always useful in order to prepare for the weekend ahead.
“There’s still some work to be done and we need to work on the set-up for tomorrow, but it’s been a useful Friday and I look forward to the rest of the weekend here in Abu Dhabi. I’d also like to add that the team is doing a great job, it’s clearly a big team effort and I’m very impressed.”