Caterham’s leading driver Charles Pic has shared his confidence in the team continuing their improved pace and progress from Bahrain.
The round was by far the Leafield based team’s strongest race weekend so far, consistently outpacing close rivals Marussia. Pic finished ahead of Esteban Gutierrez and was a few second shy of Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso by the chequered flag.
Reflecting on the previous result, he said in a team statement:
“The last race in Bahrain was very positive for us because that was clearly the best of the first four weekends for us in terms of the pace we showed all weekend. That was a good start and even though it was still not enough to be where we want to be, it was in the right direction and that was positive for everyone.” He added, ” The team was happy and I’m also happy about how Bahrain went.”
The teams focus now switched to Spain and the return to Europe, to a track that he enjoys racing around. “I have to say it’s a track that I like a lot.” Pic also outlined the change in weather conditions since testing that will still bring an element of the unknown for the teams as well as sharing his confidence ahead of the race weekend.
“Normally the weather is great – it’ll certainly be warmer than when we were testing there in February – and I think that with how we finished off in Bahrain it will be an interesting, hopefully, a good weekend for us.”
Smaller upgrades are drafted and fitted throughout the season but Spain prompts the arrival of big, vital upgrade packages that help to shape the cars future development. Pic said it will be “interesting” to see what the Caterham team bring and what their rivals will arrive in Barcelona with too.
Being at the back of the pack, the 23-year-old knows that the team are playing catch up and must bring something extra to close the gap.
“We know everyone else will have updates, so for us it’s important that we can find a little bit more than our direct rivals, and keep that momentum up all year. We made pretty good progress at the last race, and I’m confident we’ll do the same in Barcelona.”
Team-mate Giedo van der Garde knows the Circuit de Catalunya well and has spent “a lot of time in Barcelona” during his feeder series career. Separating the most important factor ahead of the race weekend, he said. “The most important thing is that we get the setup right with them first, then we can start really pushing and see where we are in quali and on Sunday.”
Confidence is high at Caterham despite the difficult start to the season, van der Garde is feeling confident and prepared ahead of his Spanish Grand Prix debut. “I’ve been at the factory in the last week with the engineers and in the simulator and I know we’re well prepared for the week ahead.”
Image courtesy of Caterham F1 Team