Barcelona, Spain 11th May 2014
Race: Overcast, dry, air temp 23° / track temp 37° (start), 22° / 38° (lap 33), 21° / 36° (lap 66)
Lap 23: pitstop 1, medium tyres
Fastest lap: 1.33.064 (lap 25)
Lap 18: pitstop 1, medium tyres
Lap 40: pitstop 2, hard tyres
Fastest lap: 1.33.350 (lap 54)
Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-#03: “My start was pretty good and I was up to 18th by the end of lap one having passed Chilton, but I couldn’t keep Maldonado or Vergne behind me and lost places to them by lap five so just focused on my own race. The car felt ok but I still had the same traction issues as we’d had all weekend so it was still a bit of a handful, but the deg levels on the first set of medium tyres that we’d started with were good so we could run a very long first stint, finally boxing on lap 23 for another set of mediums.
“The car felt better on the second set of tyres and I was able to make up some time to Bianchi ahead, but then on lap 44 I had a pretty scary moment going into turn one when the left front brake failed and I was just able to keep the car out of the wall. That was the end of my race and the end of a difficult weekend. We clearly don’t have the performance we’re targeting, but changes have been made to help us sort this out and the whole team is working harder than ever to make progress, and we have two days of testing here to help us learn more about the new parts we brought to Spain, so we’ll aim to fight back in Monaco next week.”
Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-#01: “I was pleased with how I got off the line and was with Kamui in 19th but then Maldonado hit me pretty hard as he tried to pass going into turn 13. His move risked putting both of us out of the race, but luckily the car was ok and I was able to continue, even though that had put me back to 22nd.
“My pace in the early laps was ok but the car balance wasn’t great so I couldn’t really do anything to stay with Chilton who’d got past when Maldonado made contact with me. In the high speed corners it was understeering too much but it was the opposite in the low speed turns, oversteering a lot which, combined, meant I just couldn’t push anywhere.
“We did a long stint on the second set of mediums, pushing them to lap 40 when we made the second stop, switching to a set of new hards to run to the flag. From that point my focus was just making sure I could get to the end and bring a tough race weekend to a close. For me it’s another Grand Prix under my belt, another chance to learn and as hard as it’s been, I know we can improve so I’m as positive as ever and excited about racing in my first F1 race in Monaco in a couple of weeks.”
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “We had a very clean race on the Power Unit side and there was little more we could have done today. It was good to see Kamui and Marcus fighting other cars at times but ultimately the car needs more pace to do it on a regular basis. There are some improvements coming from our side for Monaco to aide driveability and energy management and we’ll work with the team to get the most of the package as it evolves.”