Giedo van der Garde once again enjoyed a tremendously competitive outing for Caterham, eventually finishing 16th for the Leafield-based outfit after starting 20th. The Dutchman initially ran as high as 13th during the 61-lap race, and was able to match the pace of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.
Although Giedo van der Garde was once again out-qualified by team-mate Charles Pic, the Dutchman managed to enjoy a tremendously competitive start and sat a comfortable 18th after the opening lap ahead of Valtteri Bottas and only just behind the Force India of Adrian Sutil. As the race progressed the 28-year-old was eventually overtaken by Valtteri Bottas, however he was able to retake the position from the Finnish rookie as the race progressed, with the Finn struggling due to a combination of clutch and front-wing woes.
Despite battling with Valtteri Bottas throughout the majority of the race, the Finn eventually managed to finish ahead of Giedo van der Garde after overtaking the Dutchman during the closing laps. At this stage the Caterham driver was behind team-mate Charles Pic, who was attempting to perfect a two-stop strategy. Unfortunately for the Frenchman he was unable to do so, and was subsequently forced to pit for a third and final time on Lap 55 shortly after being overtaken by Giedo van der Garde.
“That was a tough race but for me a really good one – I have to say I really enjoyed myself out there tonight!” Enthused Giedo van der Garde, who has out-raced Charles Pic in three of the last four races. “Fighting with the Williams for most of the race was great, really good. After a bit of a poor start I was past Charles [Pic], Bianchi and Bottas by the end of lap one and was up behind Sutil until the first stop. The car was absolutely great on the super-softs – my pace in the first stint was really strong, the same as the cars up to 12th and it just felt great for the whole first stint. It’s good to have had a strong race here and I’m pleased for the whole team that we could fight with Williams for a lot of the race.”
Despite yet another competitive result for the Caterham duo, they still remain frustratingly behind Marussia in the Constructors’ Championship. To rise ahead of their rivals requires a 12th placed finish or higher, which would only realistically occur during a race with an extremely high rate of attrition. Regardless of such stats, it’s clear that the future looks bright for Caterham, with a three-year engine deal with Renault confirmed throughout the weekend.
Picture Copyright © Caterham F1 Team