Team and drivers report from the German Grand Prix, Round 9 of the 2013 Formula 1 World Championship, at Nurburgring.
Charles Pic, car 20, chassis CT03-6: “My start was ok – I passed Chilton but I had to brake hard in turn one and pretty soon I had a big vibration from the front right. We were always going to stop pretty early so we didn’t have to change strategy too much, coming in at the end of lap four to go onto the primes.
“In the second stint the deg level on the tyres was good. We were looking at stopping earlier to cover one of the Marussia pitstops but as the tyres were performing well we could stay out. For once we had some luck with the timing of the safety car and boxed for another set of mediums, coming out behind my teammate in 17th. As we’d changed the plan under the safety car I had to manage that second set of mediums and they were holding up well until I had a slow puncture on lap 35 and had to box unexpectedly.
“The unplanned stop obviously ruined the strategy which is a real shame as we would have been right up with the pack ahead who were all bunched up because of the safety car. That’s pretty frustrating but there’s not much you can do in those circumstances. Because of the stop I came back out last but passed Chilton and with a few laps to go I passed Giedo whose tyres were gone and from there it was just a question of getting it to the finish. ”
Giedo van der Garde, car 21, chassis CT03-4: “I made a great start, passed two cars and then did Vergne on the first lap so by the end of lap one I was up to 17th. The car felt pretty good but we wanted to get the Softs out of the way quickly so we stuck to the plan and came in early to go onto the Mediums which had held up well on the long runs in practice.
“The first set of Mediums was performing ok but we adapted the plan, pitting on lap 20 for another set of the harder compound. I’d just seen the first blue flags when the Safety Car came out so I was able to get the lap back and when the race restarted I was in 16th, behind Bottas’ Williams and Gutierrez, and ahead of Charles. From that point it was honestly a bit of a lonely race! I was focused on making sure I could get the car to the finish without any problems, and we didn’t have any more blue flags until towards the end of the race so it was all pretty trouble free.
“I boxed again on lap 35 and from there it was all about bringing it home. That was a long final stint so the tyres were completely gone towards the end and my pace had dropped a lot, but both Charles and I were clear of our nearest rival[s] so it was a pretty straight run to the flag with him.
“Despite the final place I think this was another small step for me. My tyre management in the race improved a bit today and I’ve been working on it all weekend. We now have a small break until the next race in Hungary so I have time to head back to the factory, do more work in the sim and come back in Hungary aiming to continue to progress.” (Caterham)
Subbed by AJN.