Caterham driver Charles Pic is enjoying life with his new team.
“I’m enjoying myself in Caterham and it’s great to be part of a team that has such an exciting future ahead.
“After the tests we’re definitely ready to start racing. We have a good idea of where we’re going to start out and I think we have a very interesting season ahead of us.”
Pic will be entering his second season in 2013 following a strong debut with Marussia last year. The French driver was rumored to be in the running for vacant seats at Force India and Sauber, but his move to Caterham was confirmed at the Brazilian Grand Prix. His debut in Australia last year was impressive, finishing 15th; a result he failed to better until the last race of the season in Interlagos. Pic is hopeful of an even better finish on his second visit to Melbourne.
“I’m looking forward to returning to Melbourne, this time for my first race with Caterham F1 Team and I think it’s going to be a good weekend. It’s quick but as it’s a temporary street circuit the cars run with high downforce and it’s a good challenge to get a really clean lap in.”
Pic will be partnered by Giedo van der Garde in 2013. Winter testing was a difficult time for Caterham as they fell behind closest rivals Marussia. However, with Pic the only driver from the bottom two teams with Grand Prix experience, he could prove an important factor in Caterham’s progress this year.
Carlos Sainz Jr.
Teams: Scuderia Toro Rosso (1-16), Renault (17-20)
Car No.: 33
Best Finish: P4 (Singapore)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Championship Position: 9th
Carlos Sainz Jr. has always been compared to Max Verstappen given their relative rise and stint together at Toro Rosso, but the Spaniard began to forge his own impressive path through 2017, securing himself a works drive with Renault in the process.
Alongside the struggling Daniil Kvyat for much of the season, Sainz led Toro Rosso’s charge, scoring 48 of its 53 points with a string of impressive drives. His headline moment came in Singapore when he matched Verstappen’s best result in Toro Rosso colors by finishing fourth, capitalizing on the start-line crash and the wet weather with a strong display.
Sainz’s displays led to a call from Renault, who announced just two days before his star display in Singapore he would be joining up for 2018 on loan from Red Bull. However, the deal was accelerated after a deal was brokered to secure Jolyon Palmer’s departure, allowing Sainz to join up from the United States GP onwards.
Sainz made an immediate impression, completing a perfect race en route to seventh on debut for Renault to secure six points that would prove crucial in the final constructors’ championship standings as the French team beat Toro Rosso to P6 in the standings at the last race of the year.
Red Bull retains an option on Sainz’s future beyond 2018, making him a candidate for a seat with its senior team should Daniel Ricciardo opt to leave. Failing that, Renault could offer Sainz the platform he needs to continue his rapid rise in F1 and establish himself at the front of the pack for many years to come.
Season High: Finishing fourth in Singapore after dodging the start-line drama.
Season Low: Crashing out in his final Toro Rosso appearance on the first lap at Suzuka.