Charles Pic has expressed disappointment after his early retirement from the Monaco Grand Prix, after his gearbox suffered a seizure and forced the Frenchman to stop on the circuit. As his Caterham ground to a halt, his exhausts overheated and caught fire, which was quickly quelled by the ever-efficient Monegasque marshals.
Prior to his unfortunate retirement from the race, Charles Pic had enjoyed a wonderful start. Whereas team-mate Giedo van der Garde suffered a collision with the Williams of Pastor Maldonado, Charles Pic managed to rise to 15th ahead of Esteban Gutierrez and just behind the Force India of Paul di Resta. With Caterham expecting good tyre degradation throughout the race, their hopes were high of a decent race result. However, it was not to be as both Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde were struck with copious amounts of bad luck.
“It’s obviously disappointing for my race to end that early, especially as I’d made a really good start and was running in 15th ahead of Gutierrez and just behind di Resta on the same pace as him when I had to stop.” Explained Charles Pic, “I could feel there was a problem and started pulling over and as soon as the car stopped there was a lot of smoke, but it was all out quickly and the marshals did a good job to clear it away without bringing out the safety car. However, we’re in Canada next, at another circuit where I think we’ll be able to show how the car’s pace keeps improving, and with a bit more luck we’ll be in a position to have a better weekend.”
After securing Caterham’s most competitive qualifying result since the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix (when they were known as Lotus) Giedo van der Garde endured a highly eventful and unlucky race. At the start, the Dutchman collided with the Williams of Pastor Maldonado and was forced to pit after the opening lap. On Lap 10, he lost KERS and eventually came home 15th and last after a frenetic 78-lap race.
“That was a pretty crazy race!” Exclaimed Giedo van der Garde, “I made a good start from 15th but then Maldonado hit me, damaging the floor and meaning I had to come straight in for a new nose on Lap 1. I rejoined in 22nd and at that point, even though I had good pace and was catching the pack up again, it looked like my race was over, especially after losing KERS on Lap 10. We were able to reset KERS and then Monaco did what it always does, and when the safety car came out for Massa’s crash I was able to un-lap myself and get back into the action. After the way the race started, just to be there at the end was pretty good, but it’s obviously not how we wanted it to go after such a good Saturday. However, it’s another race done, more lessons learned and, overall, a pretty good weekend.”
After a slightly uncompetitive start to the season, the Leafield-based outfit seems to have returned to their former competitive ways in comparison to Marussia. The team visibly enjoyed a competitive Monaco Grand Prix weekend, despite being struck by bad luck throughout the 78-lap race. The Leafield-based outfit will be aiming to continue improving as the season progresses, in what is shaping up to be a frenetic battle for 10th in the Constructors’ Championship between Caterham and Marussia.
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