Giedo van der Garde has enjoyed yet another positive qualifying performance at the Italian Grand Prix, with the Dutch rookie once again managing to out-qualify team-mate Charles Pic for the second weekend in succession. He will start tomorrow’s race from 19th on the grid, in comparison to Charles Pic who will start 20th.
The all-important qualifying hour was one of mixed emotions for the Leafield-based outfit, as Charles Pic struggled with the balance of his car between final practice and the qualifying session, whereas Giedo van der Garde managed to extract as much pace as he believed possible during the opening segment. Once again Caterham have managed to out-qualify their direct rivals in the ongoing battle for 10th in the Constructors’ Championship, and will be aiming to remain ahead of Marussia during the 53-lap race.
After a highly competitive qualifying performance in the inclement weather conditions last time out at the Belgian Grand Prix, Giedo van der Garde has continued to excel behind the wheel of his Renault-powered CT03 machine. Whereas Charles Pic struggled with the balance of his car between final practice and qualifying, as the track temperatures increased, Giedo van der Garde added more front-wing between runs to out-qualify his team-mate for the sixth time this season.
“In quali we went for two runs on the mediums, going out early in the session for three timed laps and the car felt pretty good.” Explained Giedo van der Garde, “There was a bit more to come in sector one and we put more front wing on for the second run and on the first flying lap I nailed it. A mid-26 was about as good as we could have hoped for so I’m really pleased with how quali went. It’s another session where I’m building my experience and my confidence in the car so I’ll go into the race feeling really good.”
In stark contrast to Giedo van der Garde’s positivity within the Caterham garage, Charles Pic endured a frustrating qualifying session for the outfit. Despite a major improvement in balance overnight during the final practice session in the morning, the rise of the track temperature between practice and qualifying saw the Frenchman’s improvements evaporate. During the session the 23-year-old struggled in comparison to team-mate Giedo van der Garde, however he remains optimistic after out-qualifying the Marussia duo of Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi.
“The team worked very hard last night going through all the data from yesterday and after my first FP3 run it was clear we’d made good progress.” Said Charles Pic, “The car felt better balanced, particularly in the medium speed corners and it improved again throughout the session. Between FP3 and quali the track temps increased and when I went out for the first run in Q1 the car balance wasn’t there anymore. It had changed from the morning and I felt like I couldn’t really push. There was definitely more to come if we’d had the same sort of balance we’d had in FP3. Despite that, the main target for the team was to finish ahead of our direct competitors and we clearly did that today.”
With a strong threat of rain during tomorrow’s 53-lap Italian Grand Prix, Caterham will certainly be aiming to make the most of any unusual results should the rain fall. The Leafield-based outfit are currently last in the Constructors’ Championship behind Marussia, however their pace and competitiveness of late has enabled them to clearly out-perform their rivals.
Picture Copyright © Octane Photographic