October 30th, 2013 (f1plus/R. Baillie).- The past two races haven’t been easy for Caterham, with only Charles Pic finishing the Japanese Grand Prix and a double retirement in India, but the Leafield based team are hoping for better luck in Abu Dhabi.
“After a tough couple of races the main goal is obviously to get back to the performance levels we were putting in at races like Spa. We have the pace on Sundays to fight, we have the determination to keep pushing the teams ahead and maybe we just need a bit of the luck that seems to have deserted us recently.” Giedo van der Garde said.
At both the Japanese and Indian Grand Prix van der Garde was unable to finish the opening lap following damage caused by incidents.
It will be the Dutchman’s first Formula One race around the Yas Marina circuit, though he has raced there before in GP2 and took part in a test last year.
“It’s a track I know well having raced there in GP2 and run for two days in the F1 rookie test last year with Caterham.”
Van der Garde’s teammate Charles Pic is hoping the warmer climate will suit the CT03.
“Our car does seem to perform better when the track conditions are hot and even though we race from the late afternoon into the evening, it’s still hot so we are definitely aiming to get back to the performance levels we’ve targeted for this stage of the season.” said the Frenchman.
Pic added that it was important for the team to understand how the tyres will behavior and how they can get most out of them before qualifying.
“One thing we have to watch closely is how the tyre behavior changes as the track temperatures go up and down - they can differ by up to 10°c between FP3 and qualifying so understanding how to get the best out of the tyres in the different conditions is very important.” Pic said.
With only three more races left until the end of the season Caterham are beginning to run out of time to bag a 13th place finish and take 10th place in the constructors’ championship from main rivals Marussia.