May 12th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Caterham's Charles Pic may have finished the Spanish Grand Prix 17th, well out of the points and a lap down on winner Fernando Alonso, but the good news is the updates to the car have worked well, and there is potentially more to come in the next few races. In the back-of-the-field battle with Marussia, Pic came out comfortably on top, finishing a full lap ahead of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton, a sign that progress is being made at Caterham after the team in green struggled to match the Marussia drivers in the opening four rounds of the season.
It was not all smiles at Caterham, however, as Giedo van der Garde retired after a botched pitstop that resulted in him losing a wheel on the track. Although Van der Garde made it back to the pitlane on three wheels, there was damage to the car that prevented him from continuing.
Charles Pic expressed confidence that Caterham can carry the momentum of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend into the next race at Monaco, "There’s still more to come from the parts we brought here, quite a bit more in fact, so we’ll work on that back at the factory and see how much more we can extract for the next race in Monaco. That’s obviously going to be busy for me and the whole team, but after seeing the pace we had today, more to come from the race five update and the fact the team has been strong there in the past, I think it could be a really interesting weekend for us."
Monaco is traditionally the race at which differences in car performance are minimised, as there are no fast corners and aerodynamics are therefore not quite as important as at other tracks. The major difference in performance between the top teams and the backmarkers is generally to do with aerodynamics, and that means that Monaco provides an opportunity for teams like Caterham to produce strong results. If they can extract more from the updates used in Spain this weekend, then Monaco could be their first realistic opportunity to challenge for points since the team entered Formula One in 2010.