Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi qualified his car in 15th position for the Australian Grand Prix while Marcus Ericsson proved happy positioning 20th in his first ever F1 qualifying session.
Kamui Kobayashi, #10, CT05-#02, 15th: “That’s a good way to come back, not only for me in my first qualifying session of the year, but also for the whole team after such a difficult day yesterday. The guys worked very hard until just before the curfew this morning and fixed the car after all the issues we had yesterday – that meant we could do 19 laps in FP3 and give ourselves a chance of fighting in qualifying. Honestly though, with so few laps, I still didn’t have the car set up at all as I’d have liked and there would definitely have been a lot more to come if we’d had a normal Friday.
“In qualifying we timed it just right and my fastest lap was set just as it started to rain. It was a good lap but not really close to what we could have done with more running on Friday but going into Q2 was a good reward for how hard the team has worked, and I could see just what it meant to the whole team to go into Q2 in our first race of the year.
“Tomorrow it looks like it could be another day of rain and sun and if we can maintain the improved reliability we’ve had today, I think it could be one of the most interesting races for a long time!”
Marcus Ericsson, #9, CT05-#01, 20th: “I am very pleased with how my first ever F1 qualifying session went, especially after how Friday went! Finishing within eight-tenths of Kamui is exactly what I’d aimed for today and to do that with such little running in FP1 and FP2 means a lot to me and the team who’ve worked so hard to get us here.
“In FP3 we managed to work a bit on setup but I was having issues with the engine mapping which meant I was struggling quite a lot with driveability, something that’s really important with these new power units. We made a few changes for qualifying and it worked well – it’s still not really how I’d like it, but it was a good improvement and that means tomorrow will be a lot better than maybe it had looked last night!
“Now it’s all about the race and I can’t wait for it all to start. It could be a bit crazy but I know what I have to do and I’m fully prepared – it’s going to be a very proud moment for me to represent my country on the F1 grid and I’m really pleased it’s with Caterham. They’re a great team who work incredibly hard and I think we deserve more days like we had today. Let’s hope that comes tomorrow!”
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “After the difficulties of yesterday we came out much stronger this morning. We had to change the battery on Kamui’s car overnight but had no more serious issues today, allowing us to focus fully on extracting the performance from the car. Marcus did a good job in his first-ever qualifying in very difficult conditions, and Kamui was a real star, getting into Q2 and P15 on pace. It shows that the potential is there and is something to build on now we are more on top of the reliability issues with the Power Unit.”