After a difficult weekend in Australia, Caterham head "home" with Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde confident of improving...
After a difficult weekend in Australia, Caterham head "home" with Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde confident of improving.
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Charles Pic: "Malaysia will be the first Caterham F1 team home race for me and I'm looking forward to what will be a very busy week, but one where I think we'll see a lot of support and a grand prix that really pushes the physical preparations we've done over the winter.
"We have quite a few events that we're doing in the build-up to the race itself and it'll be great to meet the Malaysian fans, but once we're in the car it's back to work in one of the toughest challenges we have all year. The heat and the humidity make driving 56 laps on Sunday pretty difficult.
"Whatever happens on Sunday it's going to be a really good week. Tony's invited us to check out a basketball game in Kuala Lumpur and we're going to be at the Pavilion Shopping Centre on Wednesday afternoon to meet the fans, as well as going to see GE's offices in KL, so we're going to meet a lot of people who support us and that's a great feeling for me and the whole team. "
Giedo van der Garde: "After Sunday I went straight to Malaysia as it's important to start adjusting to the heat. I raced in GP2 there last year but F1 is a big step up in terms of the physical and mental preparations you need to make so my trainer Carlos and I have a busy program planned to make sure I'm ready for every session in the car. Hydration is particularly important in that preparation and I'll be building up the amount of liquids I take on board throughout the week to around six litres on race day, as well as spending as much time as possible outside and away from air-con so I can acclimatise quickly.
"On track Sepang gives us an interesting challenge. We haven't seen track temperatures in pre-season or in Australia close to what we'll have this week and as the circuit evolves quite a bit over the weekend managing degradation levels from Friday through to Sunday will be critical, but we saw in Australia that our car performed well on the primes so we'll look to build on that this weekend. The cars run pretty high downforce levels at Sepang and that helps throughout the lap, but one of the key areas we'll work on in the practice sessions will be maximising our pace in the really quick corners. Something the engineers have told me is that since the team came into the sport in 2010 their cars have always performed better in hot temperatures, Tony has said before it's because the team has a Malaysian heart, so let's see if that continues this year!
"We also have a really busy week away from the circuit in Sepang and I have to say I can't wait. Last year we had a fantastic reception from the Malaysian fans and I think this year it's going to be a great feeling to race in Tony and Kamarudin's home. I have a special surprise planned just for this race, a new crash helmet design that we've worked on that I think the Malaysian fans will love! We'll unveil the design during the week and I'm excited to see people's reaction to it - our crash helmet designs are one of the best ways drivers have to express something cool and it's a chance for me to show what it means to me to take part in our home race. I can't wait to get started - it's going to be a great week."