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Q&A: Olivier Panis on his protégé Charles Pic

His speed, mental fortitude, consistency during races and tyre management. Determination and motivation are also assets. He approaches things in a very professional way and has strong analytical capacity.

A lot has been said about Pirelli's 2013 tyres. How is Charles finding them?

Olivier Panis:
Charles is conscious that the Pirelli tyres provide a true challenge for the driver as they have a very narrow operating window. He understands the importance of this and has adapted well to the constraints they pose. He has a good approach and knows that one of the keys to a successful race is to manage his tyres. His smooth driving style is a real asset in this regard.

Speaking of the CT03, can we expect further developments and improvements from Caterham?

Olivier Panis:
I hope so! Team principal Cyril Abiteboul and everyone at Caterham have worked really hard to ensure the car progressed, and Tony Fernandes continues to invest so that the team has the means to develop and grow. There are new parts still being planned and we hope they will continue to aid progress. We have every confidence in them: they work hard and everyone is pushing in the same direction. It is the same situation for Charles who will keep striving until the end in an effort to achieve the best result possible.

Given his potential would you be surprised if Charles wasn't offered an opportunity by a top team?

Olivier Panis:
I have always said that when Charles gets the car underneath him to fight at the front a lot of people will be surprised by his full ability. Charles has great motivation and works hard. I'm not worried about his career because he has great potential and the determination to succeed. His day will come.

Is there anything about Charles, either character traits or the way he drives, that is similar to your approach when you were his age?

Olivier Panis:
Determination, motivation and never giving up are things we have in common. On the other hand I think he has a smoother driving style than me, which is what these modern tyres require. He is closer to the way Alain Prost drove than me as today, just like when he drove, the tyres wouldn't be able to cope with the punishment we gave them. Races were more of a sprint and there was a different philosophy. Nowadays modern Formula 1 looks like the version from Alain's time, with larger tanks able to carry enough fuel to complete a race distance. There are also a lot of different things to manage. I would say Charles' driving style is closer to Alain or Jenson Button who are easier on their tyres. He's part of the new generation but Charles retains similarities of great champions past.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
08.06.2013- Free Practice 3,  Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03
08.06.2013- Free Practice 3,  Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03
07.06.2013- Free Practice 2, Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03
07.06.2013- Free Practice 1, Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03
08.06.2013- Free Practice 3, Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03
06.06.2013- Thursday Press Conference, Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03
23.05.2013- Free Practice 1, Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03
11.04.2013- Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03

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