Sakhir International Circuit, Bahrain - 5th April 2014
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FP3: Dry, sunny; track temp 42° (start) - 35° (end), air temp 28° (start) - 27° (end)
Q1: Dry, twilight; track temp 29° (start) - 28° (end), air temp 24°
Fastest laps / positions:
FP3: KOB 1.38.400, 16th / ERI 1.38.971, 19th
Q1: KOB 1.37.085, 19th / ERI 1.37.875, 21st
FP3: KOB 17 / ERI 18
Q1: KOB 6 / ERI 7
Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-#03: “FP3 was a much better session than we’d had yesterday. The guys had worked until just before curfew to get the cars ready and they did really well to prepare for Saturday. The car was performing pretty well in FP3, a little oversteer, but that was to be expected with the track temperatures in the afternoon, but we didn’t want to make any changes as it was obviously going to be cooler in the evening.
“In quali my first run was good – one flying lap on the options that I didn’t think I could improve on so I boxed and we waited until there were about three minutes left and then went out for one more flying lap. I definitely got everything I could out of the car on that run and finished about four-tenths from Q2, a realistic view of where we are now with performance.
“That’s the first time this season we’ve really had a chance to extract maximum performance from the car, after a good Friday and Saturday, so it’s clear what we need to do to improve. We saw last week in Malaysia we have good race pace, but we need to bridge that gap to be able to fight in quali with teams like Lotus and Sauber, and that’s the target. For tomorrow I think we’re in a much better position than we were in the first two races, particularly with the work we did yesterday, so if we can continue this better reliability the race could be a good one for us.”
Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-#01: “We definitely made some improvements overnight and I want to thank everyone in the team for the efforts they put in to move on from what had been a bit of a difficult Friday. My final run on the options was the best of the weekend so far – we’d improved the braking and the overall balance so I went into quali feeling pretty positive about being able to fight with our nearest rivals.
“We started Q1 on a set of new options but I had a bit of a lock-up that cost me quite a bit of time on the first run. I wasn’t going to get any more out of that set of tyres so we boxed and then went for another final run towards the end of the session. My final lap was definitely my best of the weekend but I didn’t have a great outlap so I know I could have found more, but overall I’m reasonably pleased with how Saturday has gone. It’s been a much better weekend so far with reliability and with the improvements we made today I’m now focused on having another solid race tomorrow. I’m learning all the time, and with the mileage we’ve now done here in Bahrain I want to make tomorrow’s race my strongest yet – do that and this will have been a good weekend.”
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “It was a good qualifying session from an engine point of view as we were able to run the maximum performance. We proved that our package can be competitive as we were not too far from the car in front and our speed down the straight is good, which demonstrates that we have improved a lot since the final test in Bahrain. We had a couple of small issues with the ERS system on Marcus’ car on the first run but they didn’t affect the PU performance. Unfortunately Marcus did not manage to maximize his final quick lap and may have lost roughly four-tenths, but I don’t think it would have made a major difference to the final positions.”