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Two-stop strategy a success for Caterham in Monza
9 September 2013
Caterham has a firm grip on the 'battle of the backmarkers' as the season moves into its second half, with both Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde managing to finish ahead of their back row rivals Marussia in the Italian Grand Prix after following a two-stop strategy in the race.
""My start was good and I held position into turn one and was up with [Williams' Valtteri] Bottas and pushing to keep pace with him," recalled Pic, who started from 20th position. "Up to the first pitstop I was just about keeping him range but then in the second stint he was a lot quicker and I simply didn't have the pace to fight with him.
"The car felt okay, the first set of tyres worked pretty well and we stuck to the strategy, coming in for the first stop on lap 17," he continued. ""We went onto the primes for the second and third stints and, honestly, from the time I rejoined the track after the first stop the rest of the race was pretty quiet for me.
"When the blue flags started coming out we had to manage the traffic and that obviously cost us more time, but our pace meant we were able to cover off our nearest competitors one-stop strategy and that was a the main target today."
Pic finished the race in 15th position, ahead not only of the two Marussias but also having jumped his team mate for a further position, although the Dutchman explained that this was mainly the result of a poor start and a subsequent issue during his later pit stop.
"After good starts for most of the season I have to say this wasn't one of my best, but I overtook the Marussia halfway through lap one and was up with Charles until he pitted for the first time.
"We were running a two stop strategy and I came in for the second stop when I was given the command to box," he said. "There was a communication mistake on the pitwall and when I came in the guys weren't ready for me which obviously cost me a lot of time and I came out behind Bianchi.
"I passed him pretty quickly and set about trying to catch my teammate," van der Garde added. "It's a shame as my pace in the second stint was really good and I'd have had a chance to pass Charles, but sometimes these things happen - that's racing."
Overall both drivers were feeling good about their outing at the iconic Autodromo Nazionale di Monza and what it promised for the rest of the team's 2013 season.
"We've shown over the last few races that we definitely have a pace advantage over [Marussia], and we have enough races left to keep fighting for tenth place in the championship," said Pic.
"Next we go to Singapore which is going to be an incredibly busy race off-track, and on track I think our car will be suited to the heat and layout of the track," the Frenchman added. "After a quiet race today it'll be good to have a few more battles!!
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