Neither Caterham driver was able to get away from the bottom end of the timetable today, with Markus Ericsson even crashing out towards the end of qualifying. The duo will start from 20th and 21st, ahead only of Esteban Gutierrez who didn't run due to a technical issue.
Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-#02, 20th: “FP3 started more positively than yesterday. The tyre warm-up was better and we made a good improvement to the braking so the work done last night looked like it had paid off. We still needed to work on traction and taking out some of the understeer I had in the chicanes, but overall it was better.
“We ran through the programme until the performance run when I had to stop the car with a transmission problem. It’s similar to the problem Marcus had in FP2 but we had it fixed for quali after the guys did a good job repairing the car over lunch.
“In quali we did two runs on the supersofts but the red flag at the end of the session meant I couldn’t improve my time. We’d made a bit more progress since FP3 and the balance was better, so on my last quick lap I made up a tenth in the first two corners, but then had to abort that run so finished in 20th. With the grid penalty we have to take for the gearbox change over lunch I’ll start at the back of the grid and all I can do is fight – everyone in the team keeps doing that, even in a tough weekend like we’re having here, and as we saw at the last race, anything can happen and we need to be there if and when it counts tomorrow.”
Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-#01, 21st: “It was immediately clear in FP3 that we’d found a decent step overnight, particularly with braking which had been an issue in both Friday sessions, but I was still having problems bringing the tyres into their working range as quickly as we wanted. Despite that, the car felt better on each lap and by the end of the session I think we’d made some good progress.
“We went out early in Q1 for the first of two runs on the supersofts. I was still having tyre warm-up problems on both runs but the performance had improved a little from the morning session so I could push a bit harder. Unfortunately on my last flying lap I lost the back of the car in turn nine coming up behind a couple of other cars and made contact with the wall, ending my quali.
“It’s obviously fair to say this has been a difficult weekend for me and the whole team. We just aren’t strong enough here and that’s going to make the race pretty hard, but I know I’m ready to do the best I can and that’s the same for everyone in our team.”
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “We pushed the PU to the maximum here and on our side we are pleased with how it performed. We retained enough flexibility with the energy management system to try some different strategies, but with a gap between us and our nearest rivals there was very little we could do to improve much further. We’ll again try our best tomorrow as the race here can be very unpredictable."