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Caterham signs Pic from 2013

ESPN Staff
November 23, 2012 « Perez fuels Gutierrez/Sauber speculation | Sauber confirms Gutierrez for 2013 race drive »
Charles Pic has impressed in his debut season for Marussia as it has closed the gap on Caterham © Sutton Images

Caterham has announced the signing of Charles Pic as one of its race drivers from the 2013 season.

The team has announced a "multi-year deal" with Pic, which sees him join from Marussia; the team that looks set to beat Caterham to 10th in the constructors' championship this season. The announcement leaves the future of Heikki Kovalainen in doubt, with Vitaly Petrov expected to remain at Caterham as Pic's team-mate.

Pic has been rewarded for an impressive debut season in Formula One and he said he is excited by the potential Caterham is showing.

"I am very proud to be able to confirm that I am joining Caterham F1 Team next year and I'm looking forward to many seasons of successful racing co-operation," Pic said. "I'm enthusiastic to have the opportunity to continue to grow in a team that has a technical relationship with a number of French global companies, including Renault and Total, plus an official partnership with EADS. It is clear that the team has great ambitions for the future: 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.

"The prospect of the automotive industry project nurtured by Caterham Group to produce sports road cars in conjunction with Renault is another reason for my decision to join the team. I would like to thank Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun for the roles they have played in helping make this dream come true.

"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."

Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul said that Pic was "a special talent" and explained the timing of the announcement.

"We are thrilled that Charles has decided to join us for his second season in F1 and beyond," Abiteboul said. "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 teammate and we are looking forward to seeing him develop further within the environment we will provide in 2013 and beyond.

"We will continue growing together, and the energy and image he will bring to our team and his partners will be a very positive influence on the seasons that lie ahead. Being able to make this announcement before the end of the current season gives us the chance now to allow Charles and the team to prepare fully for the 2013 season and quickly learn how to maximise the performance benefits of the Renault Sport F1 and Red Bull Technology powertrain that will be new to him."