A very busy day on the engine side with some new parts to evaluate. Cold weather affected grip creating a lot of tire locking.
Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-#03: "FP1 started with the coldest track temperatures we've had this year so we had to work a lot on bringing the tyres up to the right operating temperatures. The car balance felt fine but we were having some issues with front locking and on the third run I had a flat spot on the front left that was right down to the carcass so, after speaking with Pirelli, we decided to end the session after 16 laps as it wouldn't have been safe to run again on that set.
"Over lunch we made a couple of changes to the car but in the first FP2 run it was a lot more snappy than it had been in the morning session so we made some more mechanical changes for the second run and there was an improvement, still a bit too much oversteer but definitely a step in the right direction. We followed our usual Friday plan and went onto the option tyres before finishing with the long runs, but I didn't have a clean performance run due to a couple of issues in the cockpit so we'll fix those for tomorrow. The final long run was ok - the deg levels on both compounds look reasonable and we have a lot of data to work through tonight before making more progress tomorrow."
Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-#01: "22 laps in FP1 was a solid start to the weekend and meant we got through most of the planned program. Traction was the main issue for me throughout most of the session - with the cold track temperatures and hard tyres we used in FP1 there was very low grip out there and that meant I had to be especially careful in the braking zones, not being able to attack them as I'd like, but as the weekend progresses and the track rubbers in more that'll obviously improve.
"At the start of FP2 the car was oversteering too much, especially in the high speed corners, so we introduced a bit more understeer to help counteract that and it worked well on run two which we used to do some aero evaluation. Before going back onto the mediums for the last half hour, to do the long run, we tried the softs for the first time on the performance run but I didn't have a clear lap and my final quickest time was nowhere near what the car is capable of. We have a couple of new procedures here which didn't really work so we'll change them for tomorrow and I'm sure there's a considerable amount of time to come in both FP3 and quali."
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: "A very busy day on the engine side with some new parts to evaluate. We had a solid programme and worked through most items, which has given us a lot of data to analyse tonight. What we can say already, however, is that we have taken a step forward in driveability. There are a couple of items that should help performance but they still need to be fine-tuned with the drivers to extract the maximum performance. So, all in all a good day, despite some issues with the ERS system going on and off, but everything should be solved for tomorrow so we can concentrate on getting the final tenths from the Power Unit."
Caterham F1 Team