MONZA, September 8th, 2013 (F1Plus / Rosie Baillie) - Following the 53 lap Italian Grand Prix both Caterham and both Marussia drivers said blue flags and pace issues prevented them from performing as well as hoped.
Caterham’s Charles Pic had a good start to the race, being able to keep up with Valtteri Bottas until the second stint where he lacked the necessary pace.
“Up to the first pitstop I was just about keeping him (Bottas) in range but then in the second stint he was a lot quicker and I simply didn’t have the pace to fight with him.” Pic said.
Teammate Giedo van der Garde lost time in the pits after a communication issue which saw him pull into his pit box before the team were ready for him, resulting in a long stop.
Unlike his teammate though van der Garde felt his pace was good, though he was unable to finish ahead of Pic.
“My pace was on target and I was easily able to pull away from the cars behind and push on to Charles.”
Marussia driver Jules Bianchi had a promising start, getting ahead of both Caterhams going into the first corner, but the car's pace during the first stint let him down.
“Our early pace was not sufficient to hold them off (the Caterhams) and they regained position by the end of the first lap,” Bianchi explained.
Teammate Max Chilton said he was encouraged by his own pace versus Bianchi, especially while having to move out of the way to allow faster drivers past.
“I kept with him throughout the rest of the race, despite experiencing the toughest blue flag phase of the season, when it was really hard to make sure I gave the space needed at the right time and not suffer a huge loss of time myself,” the Brit explained.
Caterham’s Pic said the blue flags made things harder for them too but was happy that the team had met their goal of finishing ahead of Marussia.
“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 the main target today,” Pic said.
The two backmarker teams are already looking ahead to the Singapore Grand Prix and are hoping for an interesting race around the Marina Bay Circuit.
“It is a shame I could not have a strong race today at a track I love, but on to Singapore now, which I am really looking forward to,” said Bianchi.
“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 the layout of the track. After a quiet race today it’ll be good to have a few more battles,” Pic said.