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GP Week : Issue 181
Charles Pic propelled Caterham’s hopes of regaining 10th in the Constructor’s Championship with an emphatic 17th place finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix ahead of both Marussia drivers and the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez. A long first stint from Pic set up a perfect race for the Frenchman, who avoided the carnage at the rear of the grid that saw the his Caterham team- mate Geido van der Garde collide heavily with the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne. Esteban’s early front-wing damage – also germinating from a Caterham scuffle – allowed Pic a trouble-free run to the flag, so much so that Caterham’s talisman was even able to close on Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso in the closing laps. Pic was ecstatic at the end of the race, and quick to herald the efforts of the team. “That’s our best race of the year so far and one that the whole team can be pleased with,” said Pic. “I quickly passed both the Marussia cars after starting on the medium tyres... allowing me to pit for the first time on lap 11.” It was a much needed boost for the team who had re-invested the Friday- services of recent Caterham expatriate Heikki Kovalainen in an effort to solve their problematic balance issues since Melbourne. “The car felt good, well balanced and I was pulling away from the cars behind with no issues,” Pic added. “I’m really pleased with how close we finished to the Toro Rosso ahead... Maybe if we’d been slightly further up the road after the start we could’ve beaten Ricciardo.” Van der Garde, Pic’s rookie teammate, could only manage 21st place in what has so far been a lacklustre run from the man who used to compete with the likes of Hamilton and Vettel in the junior series. Having closed the gap in qualifying and subsequently leap-frogging Marussia by race’s end, Caterham may well turn their efforts towards Pic if they intend to increase their advantage over Marussia – or more importantly Jules Bianchi – heading into Spain. As such, the Caterham/Marussia hostilities could be a battle of the Frenchmen from here on. Caterham Pic up the pieces F1 >>> BAHRAIN 22 GPWEEK.com // 22 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: