Caterham's Markus Ericsson finished off his pre-season testing today by completing 117 laps. For Renault, this proves the progress that has been made in terms of reliablity.
Marcus Ericsson, CT05-#02: “I’m very pleased we finished off my pre-season tests with so many laps and I want to thank the team for working so hard last night to fix the car after the problems we had yesterday. The day went exactly to plan – we started with a few short runs to go through some setup options, and then ran very nearly a whole race simulation, including stops, which was just what we wanted to do today. If it hadn’t been for the late red flag just before lunch we’d have finished the whole distance, but the fact the car ran faultlessly all afternoon showed we’d pretty easily have finished a complete race mileage and that’s very good news for the start of the season.
“In the afternoon we put on some new parts that arrived from the factory and spent a bit of time trying various setups with those, and then, towards the end of the session we started focusing more on performance and the laptimes started coming down. The final run was my first ever laps on the supersofts and I have to say I was surprised by how much more grip they had than the softs! With more experience of them there's obviously more laptime to be found from those compounds and that will come. We still have more to come from the whole package in outright pace, but we have to be pleased with the amount of work we’ve got through today, and, for me, having that much time in the car is a great way to sign off the tests.
“I’m back in the factory next week for more sim sessions, and we have more new parts coming for Australia so we have lots to look forward to. Also, for Renault, this has obviously been a tough pre-season, but they continue to improve and we know they’ll keep working harder than ever to unlock the full performance we know is there. Overall I’m happy, for the team and for me, and I’m more excited than ever about starting the race season properly in Australia.”
Cedrik Staudohar, Track Support Leader, Renault Sport F1: “A much more positive day for us than we have had this week, and running a full race distance shows how much progress we are making. We believe we have turned a corner with reliability and this will allow us to focus more of our efforts on outright performance, something we can look at tomorrow with Kamui. The objective for the final day is obviously to repeat the mileage Marcus achieved today, and then we will have a much clearer view of where we are at the end of the pre-season tests.”