A strong thirteenth place for Kamui Kobayashi wasn’t enough to please the spectacular Caterham driver, even after some impressive defensive driving against the likes of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean. In a post-race interview with RichlandF1, the Japanese driver gave some forthright thoughts on where Caterham needed to improve.
“The end of the season is going to be more important for us” said Kamui. “I can see the potential. It’s a good start but now we really need to focus really hard.”
Having diced with Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, Caterham would now have a clear indication of where their performance is compared to faster cars. Something the team has been missing out on given their absence in free practice during the last two rounds.
“We can’t be too happy”, Kobayashi continued. “We’ve dealt with the problems and now we have to focus on performance. We’re still not fighting for points so that’s now our target.”
Like Hulkenberg, Kamui was one of the drivers to perform too stops, meaning at least Caterham could at least manage their tyre degradation. Kobayashi was however caught out by McLaren and Lotus’s on fresher rubber but was prodigious in his defence. Whilst one would’ve expected Kamui to be happy under the circumstances, his competitive nature was still bubbling beneath the surface.
“We need to be on the same tyres. When drivers are behind me I’m so slow” said Kobayashi. “They’re just waiting behind me and using DRS. We need to be fighting at the checkered flag. If you’re fighting for a stupid reason it doesn’t make sense in terms of total lap time. If we can manage our tyres I think we can be quite consistent. When the fast cars overtake me I pick up some marbles so we’re losing lap-time.”
In terms of how much time Caterham have lost through non-appearances practice, Kamui was typically blunt.
“Since Bahrain (testing) I haven’t changed any settings”, he said. “I need more time to understand. A clean Friday is the next target”.