Melbourne, Australia – 14th March 2014
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FP1: Dry, sunny, min / max track temp 38° – 41°, air temp 20° – 23°
FP2: Dry, sunny, min / max track temp 23°, air temp 32° – 41°
Fastest laps / positions:
FP1: ERI n/a, 18th / KOB n/a, 20th
FP2: ERI n/a / KOB n/a
FP1: ERI 1 / KOB 1
FP2: ERI 1 / KOB n/a
Marcus Ericsson, car #9, chassis CT05-01: “That was a more difficult start to my first full Grand Prix weekend than I’d have liked, but hopefully that means we’ve got all the problems out of the way on day one! This morning it was an electrical issue with the engine that meant I only did one lap – out on the main straight the power suddenly dropped but I was still able to get the car back to the pits and when we had a look at it we found it was an electrical problem so that was fixed over lunch. In the afternoon we were back out at the start of FP2 but this time, when I boxed, there was a hydraulics leak. A bit like with Kamui’s car, fixing anything like this under the engine cover takes a lot longer than it used to with the old engines, so that was the end of the session for me and more work for the boys.
“Despite that I’m still very positive. Even with the good reliability we built up in Bahrain, we still came here knowing it could be a difficult weekend and I know I have to just stay focused on doing the best job I can when the car’s running as it should. There’s a lot of work ahead of us but we’ll do whatever we can to be back on track tomorrow and when it’s all fixed I’m ready.”
Kamui Kobayashi, car #10, chassis CT05-02: “One lap in both practice sessions is obviously not a good way to start the season, particularly after our reliability had been good in the Bahrain tests, but we know what the problems are on side and we’re all working very hard to fix them for tomorrow. The problem on my car was to do with the fuel system – it was fine on the installation lap but when I boxed we had a small fire under the engine cover which came from a fuel system leak. The fire was out immediately but when we’d found the problem we knew it couldn’t be fixed in time to run in FP2 so made the decision to remove the Power Unit so we could fix the issue and aim to run properly tomorrow.
“Despite how the weekend has started I’m still pretty positive about what could happen tomorrow and on Sunday. We might be a small team but everyone works as hard as anyone else in the pitlane and if we can get back to the Bahrain test reliability levels I think we can still have a good weekend.”
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “After a positive test session in Bahrain and productive preparations for Melbourne, today was not the start to the weekend we wanted. Kamui’s car developed a fuel system issue on his very first lap in FP1. To rectify the problem we had to take the Power Unit off the car, which is not a short job and we were therefore unable to run in FP2. On Marcus’ car we experienced an electrical issue and had to come back to the pits after the installation lap in FP1. We changed the battery and the MGU-K and he was able to run one lap in FP2, however the car developed a hydraulic leak. It’s obviously not ideal preparation, but we’ll look at the small details tonight to improve the bigger picture for tomorrow.”