Charles Pic has shared his reaction to a difficult German Grand Prix that was hugely impacted by a slow puncture mid-way through the race. The Frenchman managed to recover strongly to finish ahead of Max Chilton and Giedo van der Garde after passing them late in the race.
Speaking about the race, Pic said: “My start was ok – I passed Chilton but I had to brake hard in turn one and pretty soon I had a big vibration from the front right. We were always going to stop pretty early so we didn’t have to change strategy too much, coming in at the end of lap four to go onto the primes.”
He had a strong second stint but an unplanned pit stop caused him to start the final stint in last place: “As we’d changed the plan under the safety car I had to manage that second set of mediums and they were holding up well until I had a slow puncture on lap 35 and had to box unexpectedly.
“The unplanned stop obviously ruined the strategy which is a real shame as we would have been right up with the pack ahead who were all bunched up because of the safety car. That’s pretty frustrating but there’s not much you can do in those circumstances. Because of the stop I came back out last but passed Chilton and with a few laps to go I passed Giedo whose tyres were gone and from there it was just a question of getting it to the finish.”
Team-mate Giedo van der Garde struggled in the closing stages with tyre wear but was overall happy with his performance after finishing ahead of Chilton: “I made a great start, passed two cars and then did Vergne on the first lap so by the end of lap one I was up to 17th.” He admitted that the car felt good through the first stop but it was a lonely race after the safety car: “I’d just seen the first blue flags when the safety car came out so I was able to get the lap back and when the race restarted I was in 16th, behind Bottas’ Williams and Gutierrez, and ahead of Charles. From that point it was honestly a bit of a lonely race.”
He pitted early for the final time and that gave him a long final stint which saw his tyres wear heavily: “The tyres were completely gone towards the end and my pace had dropped a lot, but both Charles and I were clear of our nearest rival so it was a pretty straight run to the flag with him. Despite the final place I think this was another small step for me. We now have a small break until the next race in Hungary so I have time to head back to the factory, do more work in the sim and come back in Hungary aiming to continue to progress.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic