Kobayashi blames brake system failure for crash

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Caterham had a troubled race in Melbourne and saw neither of their cars cross the finish line. Kamui Kobayashi crashed out on lap 1 with a brake failure while Marcus Ericsson abandoned on lap 23 due to an oil pressure problem.

Kamui Kobayashi, #10, CT05-#02: “That isn’t how I wanted my first race back to go, and I’m sorry for the team and for Felipe that both our races ended early. I had a really good start but then into turn one I made contact with Felipe. From the initial data it looked like I had a brake system issue which obviously meant I couldn’t do much about the contact and when we got the car back and looked at the information in much more detail it was clear that was the problem. After the race I went to the Stewards and they went through the data from the car and confirmed this was the case. We’ll have a close look at what caused that problem and make sure we fix it.

“It’s been a tough weekend for us, but we still have a lot more data that will help us keep improving, and the really positive thing is that we were still quite competitive, even with the issues we had on Friday. Race two is Malaysia, one of our team’s home races, and we’ll keep pushing there, just as we will all weekend.”

Marcus Ericsson, #9, CT05-#01: “Even though my first race in F1 ended with a DNF I’m still proud of the way we fought today. It’s been a very difficult weekend overall, one of the hardest in my whole career, but we still showed a bit of the potential we have in the first laps of the first stint when I passed Sutil and was running well in twelfth. My first ever live pitstop a Grand Prix went really well but then unfortunately an oil pressure problem forced us to stop – we don’t know what caused that yet but if we hadn’t had that I think we’d have finished ahead of the Marussias as I was pretty comfortable ahead of Chilton until the issue.

“Friday was tough, obviously, but we had a better Saturday and then today we started to show some of the race pace this car has. For the last few laps of the first stint I was driving with pretty flat spotted tyres but the rear was still behaving well and the Power Unit felt good. That’s encouraging for the next race in Malaysia which is on a track I’ve raced at before and one I like, so I’m leaving Australia in a positive frame of mind and just want to get on with it again as soon as possible!”

Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 Track Support Leader: “It was a shame that Kamui retired so early on as we had a strong start but his accident was due to an issue with the rear brakes on the formation lap. After that we focused all our attention on Marcus and it was going well, running in the top 12 for much of the first stint. Then the engine oil level started to decrease dramatically, so to save the Power Unit for future races we stopped the car. We’ve learnt a huge amount from this weekend. We know the car is fundamentally OK and once we’ve looked at all the gremlins, we are sure we will come back stronger in Malaysia and get to the finish.”