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GP Week : Issue 177a
One of the more impressive backmarkers of the current season has been Frenchman Charles Pic, who has performed well all year despite arriving in Melbourne with the disadvantage of no time spent testing in Marussia’s 2012 car. Pic has out-paced experienced team- mate Timo Glock on more than one occasion, and has out-qualified the faster Caterhams. The Frenchman’s talents have not gone unnoticed in the paddock, not least by Marussia’s green and yellow rivals, who this week confirmed that Pic would be joining the team on a multi-year deal starting in 2013. “We are thrilled that Charles has decided to join us for his second season in F1 and beyond,” Caterham team principal and countryman Cyril Abiteboul said when the news was announced. “We are all looking forward to working with a young driver who has clearly shown in his first season in F1 that he has the pace, racecraft and demeanour to help us achieve our goals. “Throughout the 2012 season we have been monitoring the progress that Charles has made, challenging us on several occasions in qualifying, and it is clear that he is a special talent. As the year has progressed he has performed extremely well against a very experienced teammate and we are looking for ward to seeing him develop further within the environment we will provide in 2013 and beyond.” According to Jean-François Caubet, managing director of Renault Sport F1, Pic’s signing will be beneficial to the engine manufacturers from a PR and marketing point of view. “We are always motivated to see promising drivers in our partner teams and Charles is no exception,” Caubet said. “Additionally, France remains the largest Renault market and having another young, dynamic French driver join the Renault ‘stable’ will give us further branding, marketing and PR opportunities, both for our F1 involvement and road car range in France and the rest of Europe. We look for ward to working with him closely over the coming years.” “I am very proud to be able to confirm that I am joining Caterham F1 Team next year and I’m looking for ward to many seasons of successful racing cooperation,” Pic said. “I’m enthusiastic to have the opportunity to continue to grow in a team that has a technical relationship with a number of French global companies.” “I am very excited about starting my second year in F1 with a team that has so much potential. Caterham F1 Team has everything in place to help it move into a position to fight with a number of teams ahead. I know how determined the team is to keep progressing and I am looking for ward to playing my part in helping them move up the grid.” F1 >>> NEWS w BRIEFLY » Relations between Ron Dennis and former protégée Lewis Hamilton have taken a dramatic turn for the worse since the US Grand Prix weekend, when the former McLaren team principal was notably the only Woking staffer in the paddock not to don a rocket red victory shirt to celebrate the 2008 world champion’s win. Dennis also snubbed Hamilton’s McLaren farewell party, which took place on Saturday night in Austin. Hamilton’s departure is not the only source of conflict between the two men, whose relationship was further soured by the actions of a hacker who deliberately fomented discontent with a series of incendiary – but false – emails between the pair. » While there’s still a slim chance the popular Finn will remain in the sport for 2013, it’s looking increasingly likely that we will say goodbye to Heikki Kovalainen. The former McLaren and Renault driver refuses to buy his way into a seat. “If this is the last race, then it’s a shame, but the situation is quite tricky for me,” Kovalainen said in Interlagos. “We are looking at other options, but even those options require some money – teams asking for money – and I don’t want to go down that route. I have told my management not to actively find money. I don’t think it leads to anything. If you had a big backer like Santander, and they went with you to a team, then that’s a different thing; but to collect the money in a pot for one season ... to me that doesn't really do anything. That’s the current situation in Formula One and it might not fit for me. So there might not be room next year and there’s nothing I can really do about it.” CATERHAM PICK PIC 8 GPWEEK.com // 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: