Giedo van der Garde says he is impressed with the pace of the Caterham CT03, despite being forced to retire from the Spanish Grand Prix.
Van der Garde was running at the tail end of the midfield during the first stint of the race but had to retire after a wheel was incorrectly fitted during his second stop.
Caterham was fined €10,000 as “the team instructed the driver to drive the car back to the pits even though they were aware of the wheel not being attached correctly.”
“It’s obviously such a shame that my race ended like it did today, but sometimes these things happen,” he said.
“I’d had a great start and was fighting with Button and both Williams cars through the first couple of stints The car felt great, really good and I was definitely having the best of the season so far.”
“When I came in for my second stop I could feel that there was a problem with the left rear as soon as I rejoined the track. At some point the wheel came off so I tried to make it back to the garage to see if I could continue, but once the team had taken a close look it was clear I had to retire the car.”
Team-mate Charles Pic finished in 17th place, just two seconds behind the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.
“I’m really happy with today’s performance,” said Pic.
“Finishing 17th doesn’t really tell the whole story as we ended the race right behind one of the Williams cars which shows that we’ve made some good progress this weekend. The blue flags didn’t help as without them I’d have had a much better chance of overtaking him, but it was still good that I could attack him in the last few laps. The car felt great for the whole race.”