Caterham signs Marussia's Charles Pic for 2013 Formula 1 season

Charles Pic will move from Marussia to Caterham for the 2013 Formula 1 season, having signed a multi-year deal

Caterham signs Marussia's Charles Pic for 2013 Formula 1 season

The 22-year-old Frenchman has earned recognition for his performances relative to experienced team-mate Timo Glock at Marussia this season. His best results to date are 15th places in Melbourne and Valencia.

Caterham team boss Cyril Abiteboul said Pic had impressed him while challenging his cars with the Marussia.

"We are thrilled that Charles has decided to join us for his second season in F1 and beyond," said Abiteboul.

"We are all looking forward to working with a young driver who has clearly shown in his first season in F1 that he has the pace, racecraft and demeanour to help us achieve our goals.

"Throughout the 2012 season we have been monitoring the progress that Charles has made, challenging us on several occasions in qualifying, and it is clear that he is a special talent.

"As the year has progressed he has performed extremely well against a very experienced team-mate and we are looking forward to seeing him develop further within the environment we will provide in 2013 and beyond."

Although Marussia is now ahead of Caterham in the constructors' championship and has closed on the Anglo-Malaysian team on-track in late-2012, Pic is still confident his new squad has the better long-term potential.

"It is clear that the team has great ambitions for the future," he said. "The investments already made and the decisions taken in the last few months show how committed the shareholders are to succeed and demonstrates their willingness to keep going forward."

Pic added: "I am very excited about starting my second year in F1 with a team that has so much potential. Caterham F1 team has everything in place to help it move into a position to fight with a number of teams ahead.

"I know how determined the team is to keep progressing and I am looking forward to playing my part in helping them move up the grid."

Both Caterham's current race drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov face uncertain futures, with the Finn admitting in Brazil on Thursday that his chances of a 2013 F1 seat now appeared slender.

Pic was promoted from the Marussia reserve role to a race seat this season, having previously been a race-winner in GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5. Current Marussia test driver Max Chilton is expected to take Pic's current drive next year.

AUTOSPORT SAYS
F1 editor Edd Straw

Superficially, Charles Pic's debut season in Formula 1 has been nothing special, with a best qualifying performance of 19th in Abu Dhabi and a best result of 15th in Valencia. But the reality is that he has made a very impressive start in what has very much been an off-the-radar year, in much the same way that his lack of junior titles belied the quality he showed on his rise through the ranks

It's never easy starting out at a back-of-the-grid team, but Pic has outqualified Glock six times and his race pace has compared extremely well to that of a driver who has twice finished second in a grand prix.

During the European phase of the season, in particular, he has shown very well. At familiar tracks, he has excelled, with his performances at Hockenheim and the Hungaroring in particular catching the eye.

Any rookie driver cannot be expected to join the dots of such performance peaks, but were he up against Glock for a second season he would have had the chance of emerging as the team's lead driver.

While he owes his place at Caterham to the financial package he can offer, it's the ultimate win-win scenario for his new team. The 22-year-old has a bright F1 future ahead of him and arguably deserves a berth at a better team than Caterham.

Although Marussia is likely to beat Caterham in the constructors' championship, Pic will see this as a step forward. The question is whether the outfit will be able to give him the machinery capable of challenging for points regularly. If it does, there's no question that Pic will be able to do justice to such a car.

shares
comments
Esteban Gutierrez confirmed as Kamui Kobayashi's Sauber replacement

Previous article

Esteban Gutierrez confirmed as Kamui Kobayashi's Sauber replacement

Next article

Sauber recruits Robin Frijns as reserve driver

Sauber recruits Robin Frijns as reserve driver
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Caterham F1
Author Matt Beer
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021