Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi was forced to sit out of the practice sessions at the Malaysian GP when his car developed an energy store issue as well as an oil leak. – AFP Photo
SEPANG: It could turn out to be another difficult weekend for Caterham in what is considered their home Grand Prix race.
The energy store system in Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi’s car failed and it was compounded by an oil leak, which eventually forced him to sit out of the second practice session on Friday.
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson also had engine issues although he was able to put in a lot of laps but was unable to squeeze the full potential from his Caterham machine.
Both Caterham cars failed to finish the season-opening race in Melbourne two weeks ago despite a productive qualifying session where Kamui managed to clear Q3 (first part of qualifying).
“In FP1 (Free Practice 1), we did the normal installation lap and then another three laps of the baseline run but then the power started cutting in and out and we had to box it to take a look at the problem.
“It was pretty quickly identified as an energy store issue which meant we had to change the battery and that was the end of FP1 for me.
“Unfortunately, we also found an oil leak when we took the floor off the car and that meant I wasn’t able to run at all in FP2 as it would have taken too long to fix both issues.
“This isn’t good and I’m not happy that we’ve lost another Friday but it is important to say that I know how hard everyone in our team is working to try and fix these problems so we can have a proper race weekend.
“The fact that Marcus was able to run the more laps than the others in FP1 shows that we can be reliable – we just need to make sure both cars run like that for the rest of the weekend or we’ll have another difficult race ahead.”