Caterham drivers report from US GP qualifying in Austin
17 November, 2013
Drivers report from qualifying for the United States Grand Prix, at Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas.
Charles Pic: “We had a small mechanical issue at the start of FP3 which meant I had to come in earlier than we’d planned on run one. It was fixed quickly and I was back out on the primes for the first full run and, compared to Friday, the car was definitely better. It was a little on the oversteer side, especially in the medium to high speed turns, but it was good in the lowspeed sections.
“In qualifying the car balance felt very different form FP3. Maybe the change inwind direction affected it a bit but it was understeering through turns four to nine and in 11, and then oversteer came in on the exit of turns 13 and 19 so I couldn’t really attack as I had in FP3. We have a penalty anyway because of the gearbox change we had to make this morning so I was always going back a couple of places, but even with that it would have been good to carry through the pace from the morning session to qualifying.”
Giedo van der Garde: “Right from the start of FP3 it was clear the changes we’d made overnight had worked well. The track conditions were a bit better but the car was back to how it had been in the last few races, much more balanced which meant I could push round the whole lap. We still had a bit of front locking to deal with and I was struggling a bit with traction, but overall it was a good start to the session. We tried a camber change for run two but it didn’t improve anything so we stuck to what was working and the rest of the session was ok. On the performance run I didn’t have a clean lap so my final time was definitely away from what it could have been, but overall I was reasonably happy going into quali.
“We went for two three lap runs in quali and I have to say I’m very pleased with where I finished. Considering the fact this is a new track for me, and I missed FP1, to finish ahead of the other guys we’re fighting with is, I think, good work. The car felt really good in Q1, I’m not sure there was a lot more in it but still, we start tomorrow in 19th and I think it’ll be an exciting race.”