Caterham drivers Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde were left to rue their misfortune following qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.
Pic qualified in 20th, with Van der Garde in 21st, although Pic’s 10 place penalty means he will drop behind his team-mate.
“On my first run in qualifying we went out on mediums for three timed laps and the car immediately felt better,” said Pic.
“We’d made some more changes over lunch and the balance had improved a lot. Run one was okay but with more time to come we opted for a second one lap run at the end of the session.”
“Just as we exited the pit the red flags came out so we came straight back, but had enough time for one more lap. Unfortunately, with the time left in the session when it restarted, we didn’t have enough of a gap on track so even though I was 4/10ths up on the last quick lap, I came up behind another car and couldn’t improve my time which is obviously a shame.”
Van der Garde says he lost out when the session was stopped to recover Jean-Eric Vergne’s stricken Toro Rosso.
“We started qualifying with a three timed lap run on the medium tyres and I couldn’t really find any real pace,” he said.
“The track was very busy and there wasn’t much clear space, but the car had been quickest on the first lap so we went for one timed lap on run two. Just when I went out the red flags came out at the same time so I had to come back in and that meant we were always going to struggle to get the best out of the tyres when the session was restarted.”
“As soon as it began again we went straight out but the tyres had gone so I couldn’t get everything out of it. Still, there’s a few penalties which will mean we’ll begin the race higher up and with another start tomorrow like I’ve had recently I’m sure we can be back where we want to be on race day.”