The Caterham team are confident they can remain ahead of Marussia at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.
Charles Pic managed to get the better of Jules Bianchi at Barcelona last time out and is confident that he can do so again on the streets of Monaco.
“Monaco is a great race and a track I’ve won on before in Formula Renault 3.5 and in GP2. It’s one of the two city street circuit races and there’s a lot of history there. I think for every driver and fan it’s one of the best races of the year. It’s not an easy race because you can’t make any mistakes at all during the weekend, but it’s also why we love it and why Monaco is so special.”
“For the car it’s completely different than almost any other track, so we are running with a different setup there to optimise the mechanical grip. It’s always fun on track, but it’s busy for the drivers and as it’s right next to France there are a lot of French fans and I’m sure it will be good entertainment for them and everyone who goes. We don’t have a race in France at the moment so Monaco’s the nearest place to see F1 for all the French fans who really do love our sport.”
“It’s true that Monaco, like Singapore is really tough. You can hope that it can be a good chance for you to finish in a good position, but with such a tight circuit and so many chances for something to happen it’s something we can’t control so we have to be focused on optimising the car, extracting 100 per cent for qualifying and then focusing on the race. We’ll have to make sure we go the right way on tyre choice and strategy, and then we’ll see. We’ve definitely been improving over the last couple of races, so the aim is to carry that through to Monaco,” he added.
Giedo van der Garde is looking to put the disappointments of Barcelona behind him on his first visit to Monaco as an F1 driver. The Dutchman qualified the best of the “new” teams last time out, but was forced to retire early after his car lost a wheel.
“Monaco is one of my favourite races of the year. For me the track is very special, it holds a lot of great memories as over the last few years I’ve been on the podium every time I’ve raced there. It’s a pretty mad weekend, with a lot of guests and fans everywhere, closer than you see anywhere else in the season, but once you’re in the car it’s very important to have a good flow or you’ll lose time and increase the chance of making a mistake.”
“It takes a few laps for the car to really to come in and of course for me this year it will be another new experience with the F1 car, but I’ll get the flow back quickly and I have a good team around me so everything should go well.”
“Monaco’s also a place where the smaller teams, like us, can do something special. It’s a shorter lap than many of the other tracks we race on, and everyone has to run as much downforce as possible, so outright speed isn’t the key. You need good traction to really attack the exits of the corners, and the package we introduced in Spain had exactly that, so what we want to do is build on the progress we made in Spain, show a bit more of our potential, and with a bit of luck we can come close to the top 10,” he concluded.