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GP Week : Issue 188
The mid-season break did little to break the momentum Giedo van der Garde had achieved in Hungary, netting a personal best in qualifying and splitting the Williams via a solid sixteenth on sunday. With nine minutes remaining in the first part of qualifying, the rain stopped and the time came for drivers to gamble on new inters or a set of slicks, with the front runners waiting for a brave back marker to be a guinea pig. True to the form guide van der Garde made the call to go out on slicks, noticeably lifting through Eau Rouge and dabbing the throttle through Les Combes. But it was van der Garde who got the job done in tricky conditions, consequently starting several rows ahead of his (still) more fancied teammate Charles Pic. His position may have been the result of a strategic gamble, but with many of the Dutchman’s results having born from his ability to make brave calls, Pic may now need to dig deeper than his reputation. Van der Garde was ecstatic with his best qualifying result of the year. Wedged between a Force India and a Williams, van der Garde was less able to demonstrate one of the exceptional starts the Caterham driver had been making from the rear of the grid this year. He did well to hold off Maldonado and the Toro Rosso of Jean- Eric Vergne until the second lap, but eventually lost position to both cars. Once settled into his groove, van der Garde was able to pull out a sizeable gap on the Marussias of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton, allowing him to focus on reeling in the Williams of Maldonado, eventually pipping the Venezuelan for a strong sixteenth place. “I ’d started on a set of mediums which we managed well,” explained van der Garde. “My first stop was on lap 15 when we went onto a set of new hards and I rejoined in 19th. That set was also working well until about lap 26 when the rears started to go off so we pushed for another couple of laps and then came in for the second stop on lap 29. The final stint was on another set of hard tyres and from there I was well clear of both Marussias and had a really good fight with Maldonado for 16th right to flag, pushing as hard as I could to keep that place.” A wr y van der Garde even implied more might have been on the table had Saturday’s weather repeated itself. “Overall this has been a really good weekend. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if it had rained today.” Giedo standing Garde 34 GPWEEK.com // 34 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> BELGIUM