Giedo van der Garde took plenty of positives from Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix despite being unable to build on his lofty grid position. After qualifying fifteenth, the Dutchman was involved in a first corner collision with Pastor Maldonado which damaged his front wing, and after a series of incidents later on, he would finish back where he started.
“That was a pretty crazy race! I made a good start from 15th but then Maldonado hit me, damaging the floor and meaning I had to come straight in for a new nose on lap one. I rejoined in 22nd and at that point, even though I had good pace and was catching the pack up again, it looked like my race was over, especially after losing KERS on lap 10. We were able to reset KERS and then Monaco did what it always does, and when the safety car came out for Massa’s crash I was able to unlap myself and get back into the action. In the car it felt like I couldn’t have any less luck, but then on lap 45 I was with Chilton, Bianchi and Maldonado when they had their incident. I didn’t really see what happened between them, but obviously the red flag gave me a chance to start again, this time from 18th.”
“From the restart, on soft tyres and with 28 laps to go, I was holding position in 17th after Chilton’s drive-through and then the second safety car came out and I moved up to 14th when a couple of cars ahead pitted. I was right behind Bottas, in front of Gutierrez, but unfortunately after 13 laps the tyres were destroyed. I had Chilton right behind me and with the tyres in the state they were I couldn’t hold him off so I finished 15th.”
“After the way the race started, just to be there at the end was pretty good, but it’s obviously not how we wanted it to go after such a good Saturday. However, it’s another race done, more lessons learned and, overall, a pretty good weekend.”
Caterham teammate Charles Pic didn’t last long until an exhaust fire brought him to a halt on lap seven and was disappointed given the promising pace he had shown up to that point.
“It’s obviously disappointing for my race to end that early, especially as I’d made a really good start and was running in 15th ahead of Gutierrez and just behind Di Resta on the same pace as him when I had to stop. It looks like the cause of the retirement was a gearbox problem and the fire was from the exhausts which had overheated. It looked a lot more dramatic than it felt in the car – I could feel there was a problem and started pulling over and as soon as the car stopped there was a lot of smoke, but it was all out quickly and the marshals did a good job to clear it away without bringing out the safety car.”
“As I say, it’s a shame as we’d had a good weekend until that point. The car felt great in the race and as our deg levels were good on the long runs we were looking at stopping only once which could have put us right in the middle of the action. However, we’re in Canada next, at another circuit where I think we’ll be able to show how the car’s pace keeps improving, and with a bit more luck we’ll be in a position to have a better weekend.”