Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi proved satisfied after today's qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix, seeing that a different car setup appears to be working well. Team mate Marcus Ericsson also saw an improvement but didn't get away from the last position on the grid.
Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-#02, 20th: “Compared to quite a few of the previous races we tried something different with the setup here and that’s given us some real improvements in the car, helping close the gap to our direct rivals and there’s more to come from it at other tracks. As the setup change worked in Austria, a track that is at the lower end in terms of aero sensitivity, we believe it will work even better at tracks like Silverstone where there’s much greater emphasis on aero performance, and that’s a good boost for the team on track and back at the factory.
“With this change I think I had one of the best laps of the season in quali. There was maybe another tenth left but I was pretty much flat out for the whole lap and pleased we finished closer to our nearest competitors than maybe the times had suggested so far this weekend. It makes the race tomorrow very exciting for sure as there’s a group of cars together who will be fighting right from turn one, so strategy and pitstops, both in planning and execution, something we’ve been really good at this year, are going to play an even more important part than normal.”
Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-#01, 22nd: “From the first lap in FP3 I was happier in the car. Traction had improved, the balance was better and it was just easier to drive. I wanted to keep working on the braking as there was time to be found from there so we had a look at that on a couple of the runs and I think we found a small improvement for quali and the race.
“However, in Q1 we did two runs on the supersofts but I couldn’t put a clean lap together and finished up with a time I’m obviously disappointed with. From the timesheets it looks like all the Renault teams are struggling a bit on outright power and that, combined with a lot of traffic to deal with on this short circuit, meant I just couldn’t string three clean sectors together on any of my flying laps - that means my final time is not really representative, but what’s done is done. Now I’m focused on the race and determined to make up for today. We’ve been ok on heavy fuel here and I think we’re due a bit of luck, so hopefully that will come tomorrow. Whether it does or not I’ll continue doing the best job I can.”
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “We had no particular issues today and extracted the maximum we could from the package. In FP3 we worked to fine-tune the energy management and the turbo, which is working harder at this altitude. Overall the PU worked well as expected but it’s hard for the team to find the speed in the car. Kamui did a good job to get in front of Chilton and we’ll see what tomorrow brings for both cars.”