28 October 2013
Indian Grand Prix: Van der Garde blames Chilton for exit
For the second Grand Prix in a row, Giedo van der Garde was out of the race almost before the dust had settled from the start. And he was not happy with Marussia's Max Chilton.
Two weeks ago, Caterham's Giedo van der Garde was punted off into the gravel at turn 1 in Suzuka after contact with Marussia's Jules Bianchi. This week in India, it was a clash with Bianchi's team mate Max Chilton that did for the Dutchman.
"I'm really disappointed my race ended so early. I made a fair start but coming out of turn one Chilton left me no room and we made contact, breaking my front wing and suspension," he explained. "It's been made really clear to us that we have to give each other room but today I wasn't given any at all and that's what's finished my race before it really got going."
Van der Garde's team mate Charles Pic had a front row seat for the clash - and suffered in the fallout. "After the start and coming out of turn one I was ahead of Chilton and my team mate," he recalled. "Giedo didn't have anywhere to go and made contact with my right rear tyre and it punctured which meant I had to come in immediately for a stop."
But Chilton had a different view of the matter: "From the video, the circumstances of the first corner seem pretty clear - I was ahead of van der Garde and he hit both Pic and myself with his front wing. When I looked in my mirrors I could see he had damaged his wing."
Van der Garde's day was done with broken suspension meaning that he couldn't continue after making it round to the pit lane.
"It's such a shame as this weekend the car's felt really good, the balance has been there right from the first practice session and we know we have the pace on Sundays to pull away from the cars we're fighting with," he said. "Having it all end so quickly is obviously bad, for me and everyone in the team who keep working so hard, but we can come back from this straight away next weekend in Abu Dhabi and that's exactly what I aim to do."
As for Pic, a second puncture put him well and truly at the back of the field, and he was finally ordered to pit for good shortly after the midway point of the race.
"We started losing hydraulic pressure, affecting the gearbox first, making changes harder, and then the steering started getting heavier and on lap 39 I was given the call to retire the car," Pic said.
"My engineer explained afterwards that we'd had to stop because of a hydraulics leak which is why we'd had problems with the gearbox and the power steering and we had to retire to stop any more problems with the rest of the car," he added.
As for Chilton, the Briton was left with problems on his car after that earlier collision but working with his engineers he succeeded in "driving around the problem" that might otherwise have forced an early retirement, and he duly finished in 17th place just ahead of his team mate.
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