Drivers report from the Belgian Grand Prix, Round 11 of the 2013 F1 World Championship, at Spa-Francorchamps.
Charles Pic: “We started on a set of options and I was off the line cleanly with no problems on lap one. I passed both Chilton and Bianchi and by lap eight was catching my teammate but then I was told to box as we had an oil leak so we stopped the car to avoid any damage to the new engine we used today. Racing’s sometimes like this – we had good pace on Friday and Saturday, the car felt well balanced and we’d made some progress. While today’s race obviously didn’t go to plan I’m not down about it – we have another chance in Monza in two weeks to continue to build on the gap to our nearest rivals and I’m sure we’ll bounce back there.”
Giedo van der Garde : “My start was good. I had clear space going into turn one and held 14th place until mid-way through lap two, but then it wasn’t really possible to hold off some of the cars who’d started behind us. Realistically, we’d expected that to happen so I was focused on pulling away from Bianchi and Chilton and giving myself a big enough gap to manage the race we’d planned. I’d started on a set of Mediums which we managed well. My first stop was on lap 15 when we went onto a set of new hards and I rejoined in 19th. That set was also working well until about lap 26 when the rears started to go off so we pushed for another couple of laps and then came in for the second stop on lap 29. The final stint was on another set of Hard tyres and from there I was well clear of both Marussias and had a really good fight with Maldonado for 16th right to the flag, pushing as hard as I could to keep that place. Overall this has been a really good weekend. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if it had rained today, but for what was effectively my first home F1 race I think we got the maximum [out of] the car. Saturday was an incredible feeling and I’m really pleased we could give the team, our partners and the fans such a lift in quali – now we have to make sure we can do the same for the rest of the season whenever the chances come our way.” (Caterham F1)
Subbed by AJN.