Chinese GP: Caterham hoping to make progress, working on understeer issues
By Berthold Bouman
Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde finished the Malaysian Grand Prix in an encouraging 14th and 15th place, and both drivers are looking forward to the race in China, round three of the FIA Formula One World Championship.
Charles Pic: We’ll be working on several performance areas
For Frenchman Charles Pic, it will be his second Formula One race at the Shanghai International Circuit, and he will work with his team to address several problems they encountered at the start of the season.
“Last year was my first race in China and I thought the track was pretty good,” Pic said. “The lap starts with a very long straight with a tight right hander at the end which is a natural place to overtake right at the start of the lap. One area we will focus on in the practice sessions is making sure the car’s very stable under braking so I can attack into each braking zone — you need that and very good traction out of the slower corners to push the cars ahead around the whole lap.”
Charles Pic – Photo: Caterham F1
And he added, “On Friday and Saturday morning we’ll also be working on several performance areas that the team has been looking at since Malaysia, particularly around dialling out the understeer issues I had in Australia and Malaysia. We have a few set-up options to try to help with that, and some ideas we’re going to look at with Pirelli so I’m sure we can make good progress on that.”
Giedo van der Garde: Shanghai a mix of slow, medium and high-speed corners
Dutchman Giedo van der Garde is hoping for sunny weather, in order to do some proper testing on Friday. “Hopefully it’ll be better weather this year as FP1 last year started out wet and was a bit damp for the whole session so I wasn’t really able to push,” van der Garde said.
“It would be good if it was sunny as that would mean we can get the most number of laps done and one thing we are going to be focusing on in China is work on improving our setup options for qualifying, using the practice sessions to give us as many options as possible for the race but also for quali.”
Pit stop for Giedo van der Garde – Photo: Caterham F1
About the circuit he said, “It’s a mix of slow, medium and high-speed corners so finding the right balance to deal with the whole lap is going to be key to performance in both quali and in the race. We had oversteer issues on entry into the corners in Malaysia and Australia and that definitely hit my race pace, particularly as it was impacting on tyre degradation levels, so we’ve done a bit of work on that with Pirelli in Milan and back at Leafield since Malaysia so we’ll see what we’ve achieved when we get to Shanghai.”
Caterham is currently 11th and last in the Constructors’ Championship, and Pic and van der Garde are 18th and 19th respectively in the Drivers’ Championship.
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