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Caterham splash out of rain-hit Q1

Qualifying was difficult for all the teams, but it was Caterham that bore the brunt of it with accidents sidelining both cars in Q1.
Caterham Racing's two cars will line up on the back row of the grid in Albert Park for the start of the 2013 F1 Australian Grand Prix, after both Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic suffered accidents during the rain-hit Q1 session.

Van der Garde was the first driver to hit problems in the atrocious conditions in Melbourne on Saturday when he slid off the road at turn 5 just three minutes into the session, damaging his front wing. He was able to tour back to pit lane and have a new nose fitted to the car to enable him to carry on.

"The delays at the start of qualie obviously weren't ideal, but I was very calm and looking forward to getting out there," said the Dutch driver. "It was obviously the same conditions for everybody and it was very tricky out there.

"I hit a puddle on my first run and span off, which meant I had to pit for a new nose," he continued. But the boys did a good job to get me out again quickly and we were looking good."

The rain eased toward the end of the session, with the full wet tyres throwing enough water off the race line to entice all the drivers into a risky late switch to intermediates to try and steal a place in Q2 as the times tumbled with every passing second.

"With a few minutes left in Q1 we switched to inters and the car felt great," said van der Garde. "On my last run I was well up but I had to back off for double yellow flags and that was the end of my chance. It's a shame as I know we'd have finished higher, but sometimes it's like that."

One of those double yellow flag incidents was for van der Garde's team mate Charles Pic, after the Frenchman spun on the back stretch and ended up hitting the wall.

"We made the call to switch to inters with about five minutes left of the session," explained Pic. "For the first lap it was very tricky - there was a lot of standing water and it was hard to keep the car on track, but it improved pretty quickly and I was starting to push."

But then it was disaster for Pic as he battled hard to get within the 107 per cent cut-off time: "I touched the white line which caused me to spin and I made contact with the barrier which meant I had to pit.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
16.03.2013- Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03
15.03.2013- Free Practice 2, Giedo Van der Garde (NED), Caterham F1 Team CT03
16.03.2013- Qualifying, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams F1 Team FW35 and Giedo Van der Garde (NED), Caterham F1 Team CT03
16.03.2013- Free Practice 3, Giedo Van der Garde (NED), Caterham F1 Team CT03
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