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Caterham close to confirming Pic's team-mate

Caterham still weighing up who will drive alongside Charles Pic in 2013

Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul has revealed the outfit is 'close' to deciding on its second driver for F1 2013.

Caterham has already confirmed Charles Pic, with an announcement it had signed a deal with the Frenchman and former Marussia F1 pilot coming at the end of last month. However the identity of his team-mate remains unknown and Abiteboul admitted that two options were being considered, one favouring the likes of Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov, who both drove for the team in 2012, and the other favouring someone like Giedo van der Garde, who was the reserve driver this season and who took in six Friday practice sessions, alongside his GP2 campaign.

“There are different options,” Abiteboul explained in an interview with the official F1 site. “One option is someone who he can learn from and who he can use as his benchmark for what we want from both our drivers.

“Another option, more radical, is to accept the fact that 2013 is a transition year that we use to continue building the team before a period of greater stability in 2014, when a lot of other things in the package will change. Both types of candidates are out there, and we are close to making a decision.”

Meanwhile, Abiteboul added that the reason the squad signed Pic was because they believe he has a lot of potential.

“Charles is an extremely exciting prospect,” he continued. “In his first year in F1 he was quick immediately, running some good times and long distances in his first days in the car in testing. From there he developed quickly and his record against Timo [Glock] over the year was impressive. On circuits he'd already raced at he was particularly strong and that tells us that in 2013 he'll be quicker still, with a year under his belt and knowledge of every track now banked forever.

“We believe that Charles will continue to develop with us and the infrastructure we can give him will help him unlock more pace and develop his feedback better so we can continue to turn him into one of the superstars of the future.

“He made his first visit to the team on Wednesday last week and he immediately really impressed everyone with his understanding not only of the car, but also of its engineering. That shows that he not only understands how to race, but how to get the best out of his car.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
17.11.2012 - Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Caterham F1 Team Principal
24.11.2012- Free Practice 3, Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Caterham F1 Team CT01 and Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham F1 Team CT01
24.11.2012- Free Practice 3, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham F1 Team CT01
24.11.2012- Free Practice 3, Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Caterham F1 Team CT01
23.11.2012- Free Practice 1, Giedo Van der Garde (NED), Test driver, Caterham F1 Team CT01
22.11.2012- Steering wheel, Caterham F1 Team CT01
16.11.2012 - Friday press conference, Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Caterham F1 Team Principal

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Boo - Unregistered

December 17, 2012 5:39 PM
Last Edited 1680 days ago

Kovalainen deserves to keep the seat, though it'd be ironic if it was Petrov's performance that essentially saved him from the sidelines. Interesting when Cyril says 'transition' year. I'm pretty sure the last 3 years have been transition years... What year are they exactly transitioning into?! That said, nothing would please me more than seeing Caterham and Marussia challenge those ahead in 2013, but I'm getting bored of waiting for progress.


December 17, 2012 2:01 PM

Please please please please PLEASE not van der Garde...he's done absolutely nothing outstanding in endless seasons of GP2! If the likes of GvdG and Bianchi get on the grid ahead of Kobayashi, Kovalainen, plus the junior champions who beat them in Valsecchi and Frijns, I will be livid!

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