It was a mixed weekend for the Caterham duo; Giedo van der Garde had a great weekend thanks to a strong qualifying session while Charles Pic was forced to retire early with an oil leak.
The changeable Spa weather aided Giedo van der Garde during qualifying on Saturday. The Dutchman got through to Q2 and qualified 14th which was the highest qualifying position for both him and the team.
When the lights went out in Belgium van der Garde got off the line well, but as expected was unable to hold back the faster drivers behind him and turned his attention to pulling out a gap over his teammate Charles Pic and both Marussia drivers.
“Realistically, we’d expected that to happen so I was focused on pulling away from Bianchi and Chilton and giving myself a big enough gap to manage the race we’d planned.” van der Garde said.
Towards the end of the race he found himself fighting hard against Pastor Maldonado who was at the back of the grid due to a 10 place stop-go drive through penalty.
The Dutchman was able to manage his tyres well and brought the car home in 16th place ahead of Maldonado and both Marussia drivers.
“Overall this has been a really good weekend. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if it had rained today, but for what was effectively my first home F1 race I think we got the maximum for the car.” van der Garde said.
Speaking about the rest of the season he said, “now we have to make sure we can do the same for the rest of the season whenever the chances come our way.”.
Teammate Pic didn’t have such an exciting race and was forced to retire on lap eight due to an oil leak.
“I was off the line cleanly with no problems on lap one. I passed both Chilton and Bianchi and by lap eight was catching my teammate but then I was told to box as we had an oil leak so we stopped the car to avoid any damage to the new engine we used today.” Pic said.
Even though he only completed eight laps in the CT03, he said he felt the car was well balanced and that the Leafield based team had made some progress.
Pic is already looking towards the next race where he’s sure he’ll return to form, “we have another chance in Monza in two weeks to continue to build on the gap to our nearest rivals and I’m sure we’ll bounce back there.”