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Pic to return, but not necessarily with Caterham

Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde are among Caterham's considerations for 2014, but both are in talks elsewhere too.
Despite team principal Cyril Abiteboul talking about the benefits of consistency when it comes to driver line-ups, Caterham may yet have to two new faces in its cars for 2014.

Abiteboul admitted during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend that his team couldn't afford to wait as late as it did this season before confirming its line-up, acknowledging the importance of team and drivers having time to work together ahead of the technical changes that arrive next year.

Although Caterham currently has Charles Pic tied to a multi-year deal, it has yet to officially confirm the Frenchman for 2014, while Giedo van der Garde and Heikki Kovalainen are both thought to be in the running for a race seat. The uncertainty over Pic's situation was underlined by manager Olivier Panis, who told France's Canal Plus that his charge was in talks with other teams, while similar claims from van der Garde's management suggest that Caterham could be looking for two drivers rather than retaining its current line-up.

“We can never say that we are 100 per cent sure [about the future],” Panis admitted, “Stability is important for Charles, but we have been approached by other teams, we must listen to what's going on and I think that all decisions will [take] longer than last year, maybe to the end of the year. However, Charles will be in F1 next year.”

Although Panis did not reveal exactly who he had been speaking to with regard to 2014, the usual suspects – Sauber and Force India – are expected to be in the mix, particularly as Pic can call on a solid financial package.

van der Garde, too, brings a handy sponsorship package from the McGregor clothing brand, and has already been linked to both Force India and Sauber, while Williams remains a possibility should the Grove team not conclude a deal with Felipe Massa.

"I think everyone has observed Giedo's progression, and he showed well again in Abu Dhabi, as the fastest of the two teams [at the back of the field] ,” Jan-Paul ten Hoopen told Holland's De Telegraaf, "You can't ask for more than that from a driver in his position.

"We have four teams who have serious interest in Giedo. All want to keep the lines open with us, and there will certainly be follow-up appointments. However, the musical chairs in F1 is just like playing in a casino - nothing is certain."

Abiteboul's call for Caterham to make a swifter decision on its line-up was tempered by the need to balance consistency of personnel with the right sort of driver to help push the team into F1's new technical era.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
25.07.2013- Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham F1 Team CT03, Test Driver
11.10.2013- Free Practice 1, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham F1 Team CT03, Test Driver
02.11.2013- Qualifying: Giedo Van der Garde (NED), Caterham F1 Team CT03
03.11.2013- Race, Giedo Van der Garde (NED), Caterham F1 Team CT03
26.07.2013- Friday Press Conference, Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Caterham F1 Team Principal
03.11.2013- Race, Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03
02.11.2013- Qualifying: Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team CT03
Kamui Kobayashi and the Caterham Seven 250R Kamui edition
John Watson driving the McLaren MP4B at the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, Las Vegas
Guy Moll at the 1934 Grand Prix Automobile de Montreux   [pic credit:Agence de presse Meurisse/Bibliothèque nationale de France]
2014 FIA European F3 champion Esteban Ocon is to test with Lotus F1
12.10.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, the start
12.10.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
12.10.2014- Vitaly Mutko (RUS) Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 in the press conference after the race

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November 06, 2013 10:42 AM

He showed good things against Glock in 2012 but he disappointed me this year. The F1 is odd, the rank ladder is always changing due to many parameters like new tires or improvements that suit better for one of the two drivers so it's hard to evaluate drivers.

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