Caterham have experienced an underwhelming start to the season. They have been accused of following the wrong development path, after building a “hybrid” car, however, Giedo Van der Garde has not given up hope just yet. The Dutchman has reinstated his belief that the team can recover from their early issues and challenge fierce rivals Marussia, in the battle for 10th in the constructors.
Caterham have no doubt fallen behind Marussia. The team threatened Caterham’s standing last season and the boost which KERS has given Marussia has launched them towards the midfield pack, leaving Caterham in the dust.
Another factor of the Marussia development has been the excellent performances provided by young Jules Bianchi. His late arrival at the team did not phase the Frenchman who has significantly outperformed his machinery. Meanwhile, Max Chilton has shown a great deal of promise. It would appear that they have finally found the right formula in terms of driver line-up.
So, work to do for the Caterham outfit. However, Giedo Van der Garde has emphasized the team’s determination to edge ahead of their rivals in the coming races. The Dutchman stated, “The car was hard to drive [in Malaysia], especially as the tyre drop off was much higher than my team-mate because the diffuser was gone. Like this we still managed to keep me in front of Chilton, so it was good experience. We know where we are at the moment, and we know in Barcelona an upgrade is coming. The next two races won’t be easy but for after we can make a good step. Marussia has a little advantage but hopefully we can fight them.”
While he accepted the current issues, Giedo stated his pleasure at being in Formula One, acknowledging the big differences between this and GP2. “It’s not an easy car but I’m very happy. The team let me learn step by step, all the procedures, the way you drive, the tyres, so for me it has been good. It is different. Before in GP2 you wait at the front of the grid, look in the mirror, the cars are coming, first gear and away you go. Here it is like, select neutral and oh s*** the lights go on. So the philosophy is a bit different but it’s where we are at the moment. Race by race it’ll get better.”
Undoubtedly, Caterham need to see an improvement in pace. Marussia are tantalizingly close to challenging for higher positions and even a single point could prove pivotal in this intense battle between the two slowest teams. Another reason why this sport is like no other!