If points aren’t achievable, high midpack results remain the aim for Formula One’s two newest teams – Caterham and Marussia.
While Marussia got both cars home in the Australian Grand Prix, on Sunday, it was Caterham’s turn to do so in Malaysia with its pair of CT05-Renaults.
Kamui Kobayashi ended 13th, Marcus Ericsson 14th on separate strategies. For Kobayashi, a two-stopper saw him take on options at the first stop and primes on the second; Ericsson completed a three-stop strategy to finish his first ever Grand Prix.
Considering some of the testing gremlins that popped up, and a challenging Australian weekend, this was a good day’s work for the Malaysian-entered, Tony Fernandes-led team in its home Grand Prix.
“13th in our second race of the season is a very good result for the team, especially after such a bad weekend until the race!” said Kobayashi. “I had a great start, and no brake problems this time going into turn one, and by the end of the first lap I was up to 16th, running at the same pace as Sutil just ahead and with the car performing much better than it had all weekend.”
Added Ericsson, who recovered quite nicely from a Saturday accident: “First I want to thank the boys in the garage for working so hard to fix my car after yesterday’s accident. I was feeling a bit low last night, but to have finished my first full Grand Prix in 14th, helping us move up into tenth place in the constructors’ championship, is a great feeling, for me and everyone in Caterham.”
Marussia’s Max Chilton was 13th at Melbourne and 15th in Malaysia; teammate Jules Bianchi was an unclassified 14th in the former and retired on Sunday due to a brake issue.
This race was the decisive event that determined 10th place in the Constructor’s Championship for Marussia, courtesy of Bianchi’s 13th-place finish. Time will tell if the 2014 result will do the same.