The Caterham F1 Team had a more competitive showing at last weekend’s German Grand Prix, and its management is hoping that the green cars will continue to inch their way forwards when the Formula 1 field grids up in Hungary this weekend.
While Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson may have finished sixteenth and eighteenth respectively at Hockenheim, Kobayashi ran ahead of Marussia’s Max Chilton all race long – it was an encouraging sign given their fellow minnows’ recent form, according to new team principal Christijan Albers.
“We now have completed two races since taking over the team and I have to say I am pleased with the progress we are making,” Albers said in the team’s preview of this weekend’s race at the Hungaroring.
“In Germany the gap to our competitors was closer than it has been for several races and we are definitely aiming to continue that progress in Hungary. We can keep making small but significant improvements across the whole team, both on track and at the factory, and they will contribute to our ongoing development.”
For Kobayashi, it will mark his fourth visit to the tight and twisty circuit on the outskirts of Budapest, and the Japanese driver was hopeful of continuing his recent form.
“For me one of my best memories of the Hungarian GP is 2010, the first time I raced on this track in F1 [with BMW Sauber]. I had a grid penalty for something so had to start on the last row, in 23rd, but I overtook about six or seven cars on the first lap and then finished in the points!” he recalled fondly.
“I think we’re realistic enough to know that probably won’t be possible this year, but we’ll still go there ready to fight as hard as we can, and hopefully come away with something positive.”
Rookie teammate Marcus Ericsson will be hoping for a trouble-free weekend after a drama-filled round at the Hockenheimring. The Swede failed to post a qualifying time after engine troubles struck in final practice, and his race was compromised by a pit lane start and having to service a ten-second stop.go penalty when his team was forced to violate parc fermé conditions before the race in order to fix the issue.
“For the last couple of races I’ve had a few issues that compromised my race before it started, so I’m targeting a clean weekend with maximum track time, especially after what happened in Hockenheim,” Ericsson said.
“I’ve always had great support in Hungary. It’s one of the races a lot of Swedish fans come to and after seeing so many Swedish flags in Germany I’m looking forward to the same at the Hungaroring. This time I want to give them something to cheer for all weekend, especially on Sunday, so it’s important we have good reliability across the whole package, giving us the chance to fight on Sunday.”
Image via XPB Images