Caterham drivers report from the Singapore Grand Prix, Round 13 of the 2013 Formula 1 World Championship, at Marina Bay Circuit.
Charles Pic, car 20, chassis CT03-6: “Even though I finished 19th I’m not too disappointed. We tried a two-stop strategy but this time it didn’t work out – sometimes plans like that work, sometimes they don’t and this was one of those days. Away from the line I had a pretty good start but had to move aside to avoid Bianchi and was then stuck behind him for most of the first stint. Just before we were due to box I passed him and opened up a gap within a couple of laps so the first stop wasn’t so much of a fight. I was back out on track on a new set of Mediums, clear of him and immediately started pushing on to my teammate. When the safety car came out I boxed early, rejoining in 19th on another set of Mediums and right up with Giedo after his stop. The car felt ok at that point – the tyres were performing really well and when Giedo came in again we made the call to switch to a two stop strategy. I had a lot of laps left so I had to manage the pace so I could look after the tyres to the end but with six laps left the rears were gone so we had to come in again. My race was effectively over at that point because, even with the big pace advantage I had on the Supersofts we used in the final stint I didn’t have enough laps to catch the cars ahead.”
Giedo van der Garde, car 21, chassis CT03-4: “That was a tough race but for me a really good one – I have to say I really enjoyed myself out there tonight! Fighting with the Williams for most of the race was great, really good and I’m pleased for Tony and Kamarudin that we could put in a performance like that back in South East Asia. After a bit of a poor start I was past Charles, Bianchi and Bottas by the end of lap one and was up behind Sutil until the first stop. The car was absolutely great on the Supersofts – my pace in the first stint was really strong, the same as the cars up to 12th and it just felt great for the whole first stint. We boxed for a set of Mediums on lap 12 and rejoined in 18th, still ahead of Bottas who was on Supersofts for the second stint. With the pace advantage that compound has here there wasn’t a lot I could do to hold him off and he passed me about three laps later. When the Safety Car came out we boxed for another set of Mediums and after the race restarted my pace was good again. I was right up with Bottas and then passed him again when he went off [pace] a couple of laps into the stint. As the fuel levels dropped he got past me again so we focused on catching Charles who had stayed out on a two-stop plan. With a long final stint he was managing his tyres and I was catching him at about two seconds a lap, and just before he had to make the final stop I passed him and then held 16th to the flag. As I say, it’s good to have had a strong race here and I’m pleased for the whole team that we could fight with Williams for a lot of the race. I’m now staying out in the Far East for a break before Korea and even though tonight’s race was tough physically I’m already looking forward to getting back in the car.”
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