The Caterham duo of Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde were both plagued by understeer during practice for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, despite eventually finding the right balance towards the end of the second practice session. During practice one, the team’s reserve driver Alexander Rossi replaced Charles Pic.
Despite the inclement weather conditions during the opening practice session, Alexander Rosso was content with his progress during the 90-minute session, which enabled the American rising star to run on all of the compounds available for the weekend from Pirelli. The Leafield-based’s GP2 driver will now return to Europe, where he will complete his Le Mans debut next weekend.
For the second practice session in the afternoon, normality was resumed as Charles Pic returned to the driving line-up alongside team-mate Giedo van der Garde. Initially the Frenchman suffered from understeer in his Caterham CT03, however several aero and mechanical changes were applied. This resulted in a good balance for Charles Pic towards the end of the session, however a loss of mid-corner stability is still being worked upon by the Leafield-based outfit.
“I’m reasonably pleased with how FP2 went.” Explained Charles Pic, who returned to the driving line-up after practice one. “On my first run the car had too much understeer so we tried a couple of aero and mechanical changes for the next runs and by run four, on the super-softs, we’d found a good balance, one I could start to push with. We might have gone a little too far on the front as the car was turning in well by the last run, but we lost a bit of mid-corner stability so we’ll have to look at that tonight and see where we can improve tomorrow.”
Giedo van der Garde was also plagued with understeer issues during the opening day of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, although the Dutchman managed to find a balance towards the end of the second practice session. Although this is the rookie’s first race weekend around Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Giedo van der Garde is relatively confident with the weekend ahead after the first day of track action.
“FP1 was a bit like being back in Monaco!” Enthused Giedo van der Garde, “Wet to start with, then onto inters and then slicks and I have to say it was pretty good to be driving out there in conditions that kept changing. Both sessions for me were dominated by understeer, but towards the end of FP2 we’d found a really good setup on the long runs. I didn’t have a clean go at the performance run, but on both compounds on heavy fuel I was really enjoying driving the car. There was a bit of power understeer coming in but it wasn’t really damaging the tyres too much so it looks like we’ve found a good direction for Sunday.”
Although the 70-lap race on Sunday is currently forecast to be dry, the Caterham duo will understandably be optimistic of securing a competitive result. With the team still frustratingly behind Marussia in the Constructors’ Championship, a high finish after Sunday’s race will certainly be the aim of the Leafield-based outfit in their battle for 10th in the Constructors’ Championship alongside their Anglo-Russian rivals.
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