Team and drivers report from the Bahrain Grand Prix, Round 4 of the 2013 Formula 1 world championship, at Sakhir.
Charles Pic, car 20, chassis CT03-#6: “That’s our best race of the year so far and one the whole team should be pleased with. I quickly passed both the Marussia cars after starting on the medium tyres which held up for the first stint pretty well, allowing me to pit for the first time on lap 11. By that point the car felt good, well balanced and I was pulling away from the cars behind without any issues. We stayed on the hard tyres for the second stint and again the deg levels were good. I passed Gutierrez and was running comfortably in 16th until Sutil got past about two thirds of the way through the race.
“As the fuel levels dropped the deg levels increased a little but it wasn’t an issue. I was keeping pace with Ricciardo just ahead, and keeping Gutierrez behind me and we decided to stay out after the third stop so I did a very long stint on the hard tyres, 21 laps, and brought it home in 17th. I’m really pleased with how close we finished to the Toro Rosso ahead, and the fact we kept a Sauber behind – maybe if I’d been slightly further up the road after the start we could have beaten Ricciardo, but we can take this performance as a good step and look forward to what’s coming next in Spain.”
Giedo van der Garde, car 21, chassis CT03-#5: “I didn’t have a great start but I was up to about 16th with a couple of other cars going into turn four and saw that Vergne had spun and was moving off the line. I tried to miss him but couldn’t and we made contact which destroyed my front wing and basically ended my race on the first lap. I couldn’t really do anything from that point so I just got my head down and pushed but after losing so much time with the unplanned stop on lap one, and having a delaminated right front after my fourth stop, there really wasn’t anyone to race with. From that point I just made sure I brought the car home and used this as another step in my learning curve. Despite today it’s been a good weekend for the team. The developments we put on my teammate’s car have worked well and there’s another step to come in Spain when I’ll have the same package as Charles. From that point I think my season will look different. We’ll be on tracks I know really well, from GP2, World Series and from F1, and with the updates we have coming we have reasons to be positive. The first four races have been exactly what I thought they would – pretty tough, but I’m learning all the time and the whole team’s right behind me. I’m feeling really good physically and mentally and I can’t wait to get started again in Barcelona.”