The Caterham duo of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson have both expressed hopes of more productive practice sessions during the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend, after the Leafield-based outfit struggled greatly during the opening days of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. During the first two practice sessions on the Friday, the outfit completed a meagre three laps in total as mechanical gremlins intervened.
Despite a tough start to the weekend for Caterham, Swedish rookie Marcus Ericsson still managed to complete 27 laps during the race before an oil pressure issue forced him into retirement. With Kamui Kobayashi also retiring from proceedings after the first corner due to brake-related issues, both drivers are optimistic that a productive start to next weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix could allow the team to unlock the full potential of their CT05 machine. Kamui Kobayashi in particular believes Caterham desperately require a competitive start to the weekend during the opening two practice sessions, with the Japanese driver preparing to start his fourth race around the Sepang International Circuit.
“The second race of the year is Malaysia and it’s our team’s first home race of the year, so it’s going to be a good week,” enthused Kamui Kobayashi, who finished 7th at the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2011 with Sauber. “I’ve obviously raced there a few times before, and finished in the points in 2011, and this year it would be great if we were able to fight for a point, but we’ll have to make sure we have a better Friday than we did in Australia if we’re going to have a stronger weekend at Sepang. The way we bounced back in qualifying in Melbourne showed a little bit of what we can do, but without any real laps in FP1 or FP2 we only had a very small chance to fight. With a proper Friday and Saturday program we can give ourselves the opportunity to show the true pace of the car, and prepare much more for the race.”
With Marcus Ericsson mirroring his team-mate’s views on the need for a productive start to the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend, optimism is high within Caterham as they continue to strive for their maiden points finish in the sport. However, with the intense heat and humidity of Malaysia notorious for creating mechanical issues in the past during Formula 1 race weekends, expect the rate of attrition to potentially remain high as the sport continues to acclimatise to the new technical regulations which have dominated the headlines throughout recent weeks.
Picture Copyright © Caterham F1 Team