Charles Pic has explained how his last qualifying lap was hindered by traffic around New Delhi’s Buddh International Circuit, as the Frenchman endured a frustrating qualifying session which eventually saw him qualify 21st and on the last row of the grid. The Caterham’s still sit behind Marussia in the Constructors’ Championship.
With only four races remaining this season, the battle at the back of the Championship between Caterham and Marussia is beginning to gather popularity, with the Anglo-Russian outfit currently ahead of their Leafield-based rivals due to their 13th place finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Although Charles Pic has one more year’s worth of experience around the Buddh International Circuit in comparison to team-mate Giedo van der Garde and the Marussia duo, the Frenchman was only able to out-qualify Max Chilton.
After making several changes to the car overnight, Charles Pic was content with the handling of his CT03 during the shortened morning practice session. However, during the all-important qualifying session the Frenchman was unable to out-qualify his team-mate or the Marussia of Jules Bianchi, as he struggled to find a clear track during his final timed lap. Despite the disappointing result for Charles Pic, the 23-year-old is optimistic ahead of the 60-lap race.
“We started FP3 with the usual first run on the prime tyre and after the changes we made overnight I was much happier with the car.” Explained Charles Pic, “The front grip was a lot better and the car was now constant through the high speed sections – basically behaving more normally. In quali the track had a bit more grip but on the first run I couldn’t fully exploit that so we took a bit of front wing out and went for one quick lap on the second run. Unfortunately I was stuck between a couple of cars on that lap and couldn’t find the space to put in the time we know is in the car, so ended up 21st.”
With tomorrow’s 60-lap race set to be an intriguing strategic battle throughout the field due largely to the increased tyre wear on the soft compound, both Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde will unquestionably be aiming to rise ahead of Jules Bianchi in their bid to finish ahead of them in the Constructors’ Championship. Either way, the battle between Marussia and Caterham will undoubtedly continue to enthrall as the season draws to an intriguing conclusion.
Picture Copyright © Caterham F1 Team