Charles Pic has shared his optimism that Caterham can continue with their upward progression shown last time out at the British Grand Prix. The Frenchman managed to finish five seconds ahead of countryman and rival Jules Bianchi and showed that the team have made steps forward.
Speaking in a team statement, Pic shared his enthusiasm for returning to race at the Nurburgring. It’s one of his favourite tracks but he can never quite put his finger on why: I don’t really know why it’s my favourite, it’s just the feeling I have racing there – it’s very special! I won there in Formula Renault 3.5 and I was on the podium in GP2 so it has a lot of happy memories for me and there’s just something about getting a lap right there that feels very good. In terms of the atmosphere it’s a bit like Silverstone. It’s always very busy, the stands are full and when you come into the stadium section it’s a bit like racing into a football arena.”
He added that he is optimistic that the track will suit their car and that they can have a strong race weekend: “I think the track should also suit us quite well. We made some progress in Silverstone, in quali when I put together the best qualifying lap of my season so far and in the race where we had better pace than we’d had for a couple of races, and we added a few new parts to the car, mainly around the floor. We’ll have a couple more small updates for Germany and it’ll be good to continue the positive trend we’ve regained since last week in the UK. We have a bit of a gap after Germany before Hungary so it’ll be good to leave the Nurburgring after a positive race, having got ourselves back to the performance levels we’ve targeted for this season.”
With no official “home” race, Giedo van der Garde is confident that there will be a lot of Dutch support at the German Grand Prix due to it being one of the closest to his home country. He feels that it will be a “great” race and that he has always gone well at the Nurburgring: “It’s a track I’ve always gone well at. Throughout my career I’ve won races there in all categories – I know that’s not going to happen this year but, as a rookie, when you go to a track you know really well it means you’re on it right from the first lap and that helps us maximise the time we have in every session, as long as the weather stays dry which it looks like it should.”
However the rookie admits that the weather can throw a curve-ball, saying: “Like Spa the weather can change very quickly so we have to pay very close attention to the forecasts and, even though the track is used a lot outside F1 weekends, the grip levels still improve quite a bit over the weekend so the long run work we’ll do on Friday will be very important for the race.”
He also enjoys racing on the track and is looking forward to tackling it in a Formula 1 car: “The track itself is mostly made up of low to medium speed corners – apart from T5 there’s not a lot of really high-speed stuff but despite that it’s still a very good track to drive on. You can build up a good rhythm and that’s one of the keys to a good lap.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic