Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi says Renault’s struggles in the first test of the season at Jerez did not come as a complete surprise to their engineers.
Following his first run in the CT05 on Friday Kobayashi said he was “not worried” that Renault would be able to solve the problems with their new Energy F1 engine.
“They had the best job in the couple of years,” he said. “So I’m not really worried.”
“But just they already mentioned before coming here they are quite a lot on the back on the programme. So when I talk ‘are you surprised with this result?’, they say no because we are missing a lot of schedule off, quite late.
“They have to work on this two weeks with this data and we’ll see how much they improve in Bahrain. And if Bahrain’s test everything’s well I think I’m pretty happy.
“It’s very important for everybody to work these two weeks especially the Renault engine, for us, for Red Bull. Everybody I think saying we’re missing a lot of mileage.”
“Of course if we have more laps I think very happy for the engineer,” he added. “We only have this chance and this data.”
“I have to say [we’re doing] much better than Red Bull at the moment because they made only a few laps. At least we did a couple of laps and we did a few – is not like long runs, but medium runs – and we’ll have data. Looks [like] cooling is fine and everything OK, we just have to develop the car, now we know how much cooling level we needed.”
Kobayashi said Caterham, who completed the most laps of any Renault-powered team, managed to accrue some data but “definitely not enough”.
The former Sauber driver is making his return to F1 following a year out. “For the car I have to say I think initially it’s difficult to get any comparison with the other car because the system is not really correctly working,” he said of the new Caterham.
“And even when I compare with some other car, like 2012 for example, there’s not much to compare, this car is so much different. I have to say it’s not really far away for the feeling, I think we can do a lot of stuff.”
Kobayashi joked about the ungainly appearance of the CT05, calling it “Pinocchio” and saying it was not a problem for him when he was in the cockpit because “I cannot see the nose”.
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Images © Caterham/LAT