Caterham drivers after qualifying round of Japanese GP

P20 and P21 for Caterham by Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde respectively for tomorrow's race start at Suzuka

Charles Pic: "FP3 started with a car that was better balanced from Friday, especially in sector one. However, the traction wasn't as good but to avoid compromising the aero balance we'd found we worked on the diff and brake balance for run two and it made a small improvement. We stuck to the normal plan and did a second run on the primes and then onto the options, with a bit more front wing for the performance run but I couldn't feel a big gain in grip on the mediums today, unlike Friday. The car was understeering more, particularly in the high speed sections so we made another couple of changes before quali to deal with that.

Charles Pic, Caterham CT03
Charles Pic, Caterham CT03

Photo by: XPB Images

"On my first run in qualifying we went out on mediums for three timed laps and the car immediately felt better. We'd made some more changes over lunch and the balance had improved a lot. Run one was ok but with more time to come we opted for a second one lap run at the end of the session. Just as we exited the pit the red flags came out so we came straight back, but had enough time for one more lap. Unfortunately, with the time left in the session when it restarted, we didn't have enough of a gap on track so even though I was 4/10ths up on the last quick lap, I came up behind another car and couldn't improve my time which is obviously a shame.

Giedo van der Garde: "We started FP3 with a pretty good balance. I was struggling a bit with entry into turns 11 and 16 and there was a bit of understeer as the tyre wear increased, but not too much to be a concern. For the performance run we made a final change to the ride height and front wing to try and improve the car's behaviour on entry and it seemed to work a bit. The car balance had improved but we still needed to improve its behaviour in entry to the corners in the low speed turns, so we did that over lunch in preparation for Q1.

"We started quali with a three timed lap run on the medium tyres and I couldn't really find any real pace. The track was very busy and there wasn't much clear space, but the car had been quickest on the first lap so we went for one timed lap on run two. Just when I went out the red flags came out at the same time so I had to come back in and that meant we were always going to struggle to get the best out of the tyres when the session was restarted. As soon as it began again we went straight out but the tyres had gone so I couldn't get everything out of it. Still, there's a few penalties which will mean we'll begin the race higher up and with another start tomorrow like I've had recently I'm sure we can be back where we want to be on race day."

Caterham F1 Team

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giedo van der Garde , Charles Pic
Teams Caterham F1
Article type Qualifying report
Tags caterham, charles pic, giedo van der garde, japan, suzuka