Winter testing ended on a positive note for the Caterham team after Kamui Kobayashi managed 106 laps on the final day of the third test.
The Japanese driver, who has returned to F1 this season, set the 11th fastest time and looked set to add more laps of the Bahrain International Circuit to his tally before a clutch failure cut short his running.
However, his impressive lap total helped Caterham to leave the third test with the most mileage of any Renault-powered team. Overall, the Leafield-based outfit racked up 297 laps at the final four-day event and 621 over all three pre-season tests.
“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,” Kobayashi said.
“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.”
He added: “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.”
The 27-year-old is excited to return to racing after being left without a seat on the grid in 2013 and expects it to be a “very interesting start” to the 2014 season.
Image courtesy of Caterham F1 Team