Kamui Kobayashi was disappointed after completing just one lap in Melbourne on Friday despite having reliability during pre-season testing.
Caterham was the of the more reliable Renault-powered team during the final pre-season outing in Bahrain. However, when they arrived in Australia it was a completely different story.
Kobayashi managed just one lap in FP1 before a fuel system problem put him out of the running while he did not even venture out in the late afternoon session.
"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," he said.
"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."
The Japanese driver, though, is hopeful that Caterham can solve their issues ahead of Saturday's qualifying.
"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."
His team-mate Marcus Ericsson did not fare much better as he managed just two laps in both sessions combined due to electrical and hydraulic problems.