Charles Pic not regretting Caterham move

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Caterham’s Charles Pic is continuing to stay positive about his move to the team from Marussia despite a relative lack of pace in the first two races of the Formula One season.

“I don’t see things like that,” the Frenchman told Autosport. “I had a great year with Marussia [last year], but now I am very happy to be with Caterham for this year and the future. It’s not frustrating at all.

“There are some areas where we need to progress and that’s it. It’s our job to fix issues and make steps forward.”

Pic has been able to improve upon his starting positions with his finishes at both Australia and Malaysia; he qualified 22nd and finished 16th Down Under and then qualified 20th and finished 14th at Sepang. His Caterham teammate, Giedo van der Garde, has also finished higher than his starts in both races as well.

But Marussia’s impressive rookie, Jules Bianchi, has managed to out-qualify and then beat both Caterham drivers (as well as his own teammate, England’s Max Chilton) in those events. Bianchi finished 15th in Australia (qualified 19th)  and 13th in Malaysia (qualified 19th).

Pic believes that upcoming upgrades will help him and van der Garde make performance gains.

“We have to wait a few races [for updates], but I have trust in the team so I’m sure we can have a good step forward,” Pic told Autosport.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.