Charles Pic is in high spirits heading into the weekend after a promising start for Caterham at the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Frenchman was nineteenth, eight tenths clear of the quickest Marussia, but the long run pace was a particular source of delight for Pic.
“For me FP1 was ok. I didn’t have as much understeer as Giedo and from the start of the session had reasonable grip. In fact, we had too much grip at the rear for the first couple of runs but we improved that throughout the session. For FP2 we made a couple more setup changes and started with a better balance than we’d had in FP1. On the long runs the degradation was ok – it’s there, more at the rear than the front, but it’s not huge and for me it’s manageable. We can take quite a few positives from today, particularly the gap to our nearest rivals and the long run pace which is again comparable to Williams, I think we could have a good weekend ahead.”
Teammate Giedo van der Garde was less happy with his CT03 but also outpaced the two Marussias, a target he is setting himself for tomorrow.
“Both sessions today were all about understeer. In FP1 we ran a different setup to Charles’ car to give us a baseline comparison and we tried some new brake material. To be honest neither the setup nor the new brake material really worked and we had to spend most of the FP1 trying to dial out the understeer. We also had a lot of front locking, something we didn’t have last week in Silverstone, so we made a few changes to deal with that. In the afternoon the balance was a bit better but we still had the same understeer issues, and on the long runs we were seeing high degradation and graining on the front left. However, by the last long run the tyres were working better and I felt like we’d made some good progress. We’ll work on all everything tonight and even though we have a lot of work ahead of us I’m pretty positive we can have a decent qualifying and race here in Hungary.”