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Malaysian GP: Caterham drivers looking forward to challenging home GP

By Berthold Bouman

Malaysian GP Caterham drivers looking forward to challenging home GP - Photo: Caterham F1 TeamMixed fortunes during the Australian Grand Prix for both Caterham drivers Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde, they finished in 16th and 18th place respectively, but at least they made it to the finish line, whilst others like Williams driver Pastor Maldonado had problems keeping their cars on the right track.

Charles Pic: One of the toughest challenges of the season

Pic expects a lot of support from the Malaysian fans this weekend, “Malaysia will be the first Caterham F1 Team home race for me and I’m looking forward to what will be a very busy week, but one where I think we’ll see a lot of support and a Grand Prix that really pushes the physical preparations we’ve done over the winter.”

And the Frenchman added, “We have quite a few events that we’re doing in the build-up to the race itself and it’ll be great to meet the Malaysian fans, but once we’re in the car it’s back to work in one of the toughest challenges we have all year. The heat and the humidity make driving 56 laps on Sunday pretty difficult.”

Giedo van der Garde with his special Malaysia helmet design - Photo: Caterham F1 Team

Giedo van der Garde with his helmet especially designed for the Malaysian GP – Photo: Caterham F1 Team

Giedo van der Garde: Busy training programme

Dutchman Giedo van der Garde has a busy training schedule to prepare him for the challenges of the Sepang International Circuit, famous for its sudden rain showers and high humidity. He already has arrived in Malaysia and said, “I went straight to Malaysia as it’s important to start adjusting to the heat. I raced in GP2 there last year but Formula One is a big step up in terms of the physical and mental preparations you need to make so my trainer Carlos and I have a busy program planned to make sure I’m ready for every session in the car.”

About the circuit he commented, “On track Sepang gives us an interesting challenge. We haven’t seen track temperatures in pre-season or in Australia close to what we’ll have this week and as the circuit evolves quite a bit over the weekend managing degradation levels from Friday through to Sunday will be critical, but we saw in Australia that our car performed well on the primes so we’ll look to build on that this weekend.”

He’s confident his team will do well during their home Grand Prix, “The cars run pretty high downforce levels at Sepang and that helps throughout the lap, but one of the key areas we’ll work on in the practice sessions will be maximising our pace in the really quick corners.”

“Something the engineers have told me is that since the team came into the sport in 2010 their cars have always performed better in hot temperatures, Tony [Fernandes, team owner] has said before it’s because the team has a Malaysian heart, so let’s see if that continues this year!”

Also read:

Red Bull Malaysian GP Preview
Ferrari Malaysian GP Preview
McLaren Malaysian GP Preview
Lotus Malaysian GP Preview
Mercedes Malaysian GP Preview
Sauber Malaysian GP Preview
Force India Malaysian GP Preview
Williams Malaysian GP Preview
• Toro Rosso Malaysian GP Preview
Caterham Malaysian GP Preview
Marussia Malaysian GP Preview

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