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GP Week : Issue 194
With Marussia no threat in Abu Dhabi, Caterham chose to apply team orders in their fight for tenth place in the constructors’ championship. Qualifying in 19th, two positions ahead of teammate Charles Pic – before Jules Bianchi’s gearbox penalty was applied – Giedo van der Garde was caught out at the start after making contact with Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus when the Finn was forced to start at the back of the grid due to failing scrutineering with an excessively flexing floor. In a desperate attempt to make up ground, Raikkonen went for an early dive down the inside of van der Garde, but left his move too late, forcing the Caterham driver into contact that was undesirable for both men. While Raikkonen retired, the altercation put van der Garde on the back foot and he spent the next 20 laps attempting to reel in Pic. On lap 24, van der Garde complained over the radio that his teammate was “holding me up a lot” and a subsequent order to “let Giedo past” was promptly obeyed by the Frenchman after some initial questioning as to whether his side of the garage was running a different strategy. The answer “Giedo is faster than you” was probably not the response Pic was looking for, but to sweeten the deal, the younger man was promised that the position would be returned to him if his teammate didn’t have the pace to pull away. But van der Garde had the necessary speed; he muscled past Pic on the run down to Turn Eight and into 18th position. With the nearest target out of reach – an under- performing Daniel Ricciardo – the Caterham pair could afford to squabble over bragging rights given the lack of a threat from Marussia. But after losing numerous opportunities to lock down tenth in the constructors’ championship, the Caterham pit wall were loath to take risks. When the flag fell the Caterham pair were in 18th and 19th. The team will have to do a lot better in the final two rounds to stand any chance of improving their position in the constructors’ standings. “ We know we need more luck and things to happen to the cars ahead to be able to get back tenth place in the championship, but it’s still good to have finished so far ahead of our nearest rivals,” said van der Garde after the race. “ We need to carry that form through for the final two races and I know that if things come our way, we can do what’s required to finish my rookie season on a really positive note.” "Giedo is faster than you ..." 36 GPWEEK.com // 36 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> ABU DHABI