Caterham have ended their pre-season testing with another positive day as Kamui Kobayashi managed to complete 106 laps. Sadly, a clutch failure in the last hour denied the team from doing some qualifying simulation that could show the car's true pace.
Kamui Kobayashi, car 10, CT05-02: “106 laps is a good way for us to finish the tests, even though the clutch problem we had in the last hour meant we didn’t have a chance to do any of the performance runs we’d planned for today. However, I’m very happy we were able to have two such good final days in Bahrain as it’s showed that our reliability is good and that could be very important in Australia and for the whole season, especially when you look at how quite a few of the other teams have struggled both here and in Jerez.
“Today we had a very long program, starting in the morning with a number of short runs to work through setup changes and we’ve made good progress in that area. In the afternoon we went onto longer runs, looking at fuel and energy management strategy and tyre wear and we have a lot of data to work with on that – again, that will be critical in the races so to have had the chance to start to understand how the car behaves with different modes is very important.
“Next week I have a couple more days in the simulator at the factory and then it’ll be time to go to Australia. I’m obviously excited about getting back to racing and with what we’ve achieved in testing I think it could be a very interesting start to the 2014 season.”
Cedrik Staudohar, Track Support Leader, Renault Sport F1: “Another very decent day of running for the team and more evidence that we continue to make progress with the Power Unit, both in terms of reliability and performance. Now the work will continue in Viry to ensure that we go to Australia with the strongest package possible and after the amount of laps we have completed here in Bahrain and in Jerez, we have given ourselves the best chance of doing so when the season starts.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal: “It has certainly been as tough a pre-season as we expected, but to finish as by far the most reliable Renault powered team, and with some early indications that our relative performance has improved compared to this time last year is positive. I would have liked to see where Kamui would have finished with a performance run on softer compounds as I’m sure he would have found a considerable amount of time, probably into the 1.36s, although I do not think that outright pace will the primary success factor in the first races. A lot of hard work has been put in by the whole team, on track at the tests, back at Leafield and in the wind tunnel in Cologne and I would also like to thank the staff at Renault Sport F1 – the early days of their new power unit have not been easy, but they have worked relentlessly to overcome a very large part of their initial difficulties.
“I’m also very pleased with how all three drivers we have run in the tests have integrated with the team. As a rookie, Marcus is on a steep learning curve but he has shown consistently that he improves with every lap and is ready for his first full F1 race weekend in Australia in two weeks. Robin, who ran for one day in both the first and second tests, has already demonstrated his ability, both behind the wheel and as a teammate and Kamui has shown exactly why we are so pleased to have him with us. He sets the benchmark for us, both in terms of outright pace and in his feedback, and he and Marcus are going to be a good pairing this season.
“We will now have a few more busy days to analyse the huge amount of information generated by our 3,312 kms of testing and see how we can make the best possible use of what we have available for the first races of the season, as well as to start defining our development strategy for the later stages of what is going to be a quite amazing F1 season.”
Total day four laps: 106
Total T03 laps: 297 / 1,607.364 kms
Total 2014 pre-season test laps: 626 / 3,312.748 kms