Caterham: It’s obviously disappointing to finish the season like this

Team and drivers report from the Brazilian Grand Prix, the 19th and final round of the 2013 Formula 1 World Championship, at Autodromo Carlos Pace (Interlagos).

Team Quotes:

Charles Pic, car 20, chassis CT03-6: “My start wasn’t great but by the end of lap five I was past Bianchi and closing the gap to my teammate. We put in a long first stint on the Mediums with one eye on the rain that could have come, and boxed on lap 25 for another set of Options, coming out clear of Bianchi which was obviously the first target.  My pace in the second stint was good – the car felt great and Giedo and I switched positions just after the halfway mark as I was on a different strategy and pace to him at that point. My laptimes on that second set were good – running in the 1.18s which was close most of the midfield, but at that point it was all about hanging on to see if the rain would come. The tyres held up really well and I was in 17th when the rain was just starting to fall a little more heavily, but then, on lap 58, there was a suspension problem on the car and that was the end of the race for me. It’s obviously a real shame that my race ended like that as the plan was working well and if the rain had fallen harder we’d have been in a really strong position, but sometimes it’s like that.”

Giedo van der Garde, car 21, chassis CT03-5: “My start was really good, I passed my teammate and was fighting with Bianchi through Turn One, but had to lift slightly to avoid one of the Force Indias which let Jules through. The car felt good at that point so only a couple of laps later I was past him and immediately put clear air between me and him, pushing on to Kovalainen ahead in the Lotus. We went until lap 24 on the first set, at one point running as high as 14th, but the main aim was to put a gap between us and the Marussias, and when I rejoined on another set of Mediums we had the gap up to about seven seconds. My second set of tyres wasn’t performing as well as the first and about halfway through the planned second stint I was given the command to change positions with my teammate. That set of Mediums had started to go off but with the possibility of more rain coming we had to stay out. We were still pulling away from Bianchi which meant we were covering his plan, but it was a struggle to keep up the pace we needed on those tyres as they were pretty much gone by lap 42. The second stop was on lap 47 when we went onto the Primes. I came out ahead of Bianchi again but had to serve a drive through a few laps later which put me about 15 seconds behind him. I was pushing really hard and closed the gap a lot, down to seven seconds by lap 65 but that was as close as I could get. It’s obviously not how I wanted the season to end, but I think, overall, I’ve learnt a lot. There have been quite a few highs and a few lows but this is a great team, a good group of people who work so hard and are determined to succeed, just like me.”

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal, Caterham F1 Team: “It’s obviously disappointing to finish the season like this and to end in 11th place in the Championship. We started with last year’s car which was slower than our rivals for the first three races and it was in the second race in Malaysia that we lost the tenth place that we then ended up chasing all year.  It’s particularly frustrating because our development strategy paid dividends in terms of outright pace from Bahrain onwards, but we had to balance our 2013 campaign against the need to focus on 2014 and that was always going to be a challenge. Despite the position we ended up in I want to thank the drivers and the whole team for the work they put in this year. We have experienced people in every department and a lot of young talent throughout the team, on track and at Leafield, and everyone in the team needs to be thanked for their hard work throughout 2013. Our shareholders and our partners have continued to support us unequivocally and the investments they continue to make, in infrastructure, resources and, most importantly, people, put us in a good position for the future. Now we’ll regroup, recharge and come back fighting in 2014 in an all new Formula 1.”

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