“Korea and Japan were two quite tough weeks with races that didn’t go to plan for me so I want to get back to the performance levels that have been building up since Hungary at the next two races in India and Abu Dhabi.” van der Garde said.
The Dutchmans Japanese Grand Prix ended before the first corner last Sunday when he made contact with Marussia driver Jules Bianchi heading into the first corner.
van der Garde said said the data showed his impact with the barrier registered around 20 g’s, which was one of the ‘biggest accidents’ he’d had in his career and felt it showed how much safety had improved in Formula One.
“It just shows how far F1 safety has come that I was out of the car and back in the team’s hospitality unit within about 20 minutes and when I looked at the shots after the race I realised that it was, honestly, quite a lot of a bigger shunt than it had felt like in the car” He said.
The Caterham driver had his first experience of the Buddh International Circuit last year during FP1 and is hoping to put pressure on his rivals over the weekend.
“the aim is to maintain the gap to our nearest competitors throughout the weekend and get back to fighting cars ahead on Sunday afternoon, putting ourselves in a position to take advantage of anything that happens up ahead.” The Dutchman explained.
His teammate Charles Pic is hoping to improve on last years race, where he finished 19th, and keep pushing their rivals.
“I had a strong race there in 2012, particularly at the start where I made up five places, so the aim is obviously to do the same again in 2013 and keep pushing the teams ahead where we can.” Pic said.
The Frenchman doesn’t expect to see the cars real pace until Saturday due to the dusty track on Friday.
“As the track evolves so much over the weekend you don’t really find the quickest pace until quali and then the race itself as the track is so dusty on Friday, and then again on Saturday morning.” Pic explained.
“They did make some improvements last year to help manage that, including washing the track each evening, so hopefully it will be better again this year”
The Leafield based team now only have four races to beat closest title rivals Marussia, to 13th place in the constructors championship.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic