Van der Garde: Last chance Monza should suit Caterham

By on Friday, August 30, 2013
Caterham F1 Team

Caterham F1 Team

Giedo van der Garde believes the low downforce nature of Monza should play to the strengths of the Caterham CT03.

Van der Garde qualified in fourteenth place at Spa last weekend and followed it up with sixteenth place in the race.

The Dutchman sees next weekend's Italian Grand Prix as another opportunity for the Leafield based team.

"It’s a track that could suit us in the fight with our nearest competitors," he said.

"It’s often hot and it’s the quickest track of the year, one where we run very low downforce settings and that should suit our car. Last year the team was pretty competitive and we’ll aim to make sure we are again."

Van der Garde, who will step aside in first practice for Heikki Kovalainen, also added that Caterham could take advantage of any unusual conditions in Monza but hinted it might be their last opportunity of 2013.

"If it’s not hot and we have anything like the conditions we did in Spa then we’ve shown we can take advantage of unpredictable weather, and even though another P3 in Q1 might be unlikely, we still know we can be bold and aggressive when there’s a chance to surprise a few people. Maybe our next chance will be Monza – if not I’m sure there will be other races this year when we can show what we can do."

Charles Pic, who called his weekend in Belgium 'unlucky', emphasised that finding the right set-up will be critical for his hopes.

"We’ll be running the low downforce package for this race and the main focus will be on finding a setup that gives us maximum straightline speed and a car that we can really attack the kerbs with," said the Frenchman.

"That’s important for laptime, particularly in T3 and T7, as you need to be able to minimise the time in the corners by pushing the car over the kerbs, so having the right mechanical setup is crucial. We’ll also be working a lot on braking stability – break wear and cooling are both pretty manageable at Monza, but it’s important to have a car that’s behaving consistently in the braking zones as that’s where you can make up, and lose, time."

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