Caterham Hoping To Leave Europe On A High

Geido van der Garde's qualifying performance (Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd)

Caterham F1 are hoping to end the European leg of the F1 season on a high as the team head to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix.

Following a less than best Spa race, where both cars were called in to the weigh bridge in Q1 losing them valuable time, and then Charles Pic getting an oil leak during the race – only Giedo van der Garde had cause to smile following a best ever qualifying position of 14th.

Also getting his third run out of the season in FP1, taking the place of van der Garde, is Heikki Kovalainen who will be helping the team work through their testing programme on the Friday afternoon.

Speaking of set ups Pic said: “I’m in the simulator at Leafield before we arrive in Monza, so we’ll have a chance to try a few setup options before we get to the track.

We’ll be running the low downforce package for this race and the main focus will be on finding a setup that gives us maximum straightline speed and a car that we can really attack the kerbs with.That’s important for laptime, particularly in T3 and T7, as you need to be able to minimise the time in the corners by pushing the car over the kerbs, so having the right mechanical setup is crucial.

We’ll also be working a lot on braking stability – break wear and cooling are both pretty manageable at Monza, but it’s important to have a car that’s behaving consistently in the braking zones as that’s where you can make up, and lose, time.”

Dutchman van der Garde is also hoping the low downforce set up will mean Caterham could become a dark horse in the race but is not expecting another P3 in Q1.

The Italian Grand Prix takes place on the sixth and seventh of September live on Sky Sports F1 HD.