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F1 China 2013: P16 'as good as we could hope for' - Pic
15 April 2013
Caterham's Charles Pic described this weekend's F1 Grand Prix of China as about as good as the team could have hoped for in the circumstances, after he managed to split the Marussia cars with his 16th place finish in Shanghai and was also not too far off the back of the two Williams cars.
"The car felt good right from the start, the setup we went for worked well and I had a decent start on the soft tyres," said Pic. "[I] came in just as they were starting to degrade heavily, came out ahead of Bianchi and for two thirds of the race I was pretty comfortably holding 15th place."
Unfortunately he dropped behind Marussia's Jules Bianchi in the third round of stops but all in all was happy with the way that the Chinese GP had gone.
"For me that was a good race, almost as good as we could have hoped for with our current performance levels and run to a good race strategy," he said. "The fact we were able to keep pace with the Marussia for the whole race and at some points be just out of reach of a Williams is very encouraging for the future.
"Now we go straight to Bahrain where we hope things will become interesting," referring to the next race in just a few days time after a tight turnaround and long haul flight.
His team mate Giedo van der Garde, who is getting his first season in F1 in 2013 after working his way up through the GP2 feeder series, had a less happy time of it in China.
"That really wasn't a good race for me," the Dutch driver admitted. "I had another very strong start, passing three cars, but almost from the moment the first set of softs started going off I couldn't find any real pace and was struggling for the whole race.
"It's been a pretty tough weekend for me, but I'm a very positive person and this is all part of the learning curve I knew I'd have for the early season races and I know I have the team on my side to help me progress.
"We have the chance straight away to get back to the sort of performance we want in Bahrain," he added. "We'll look at what we can learn from here and move on to the next race where I'm sure things will improve.”
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