Lotus appoint Pic as third driver

2014 F1 season

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Lotus have hired former Caterham racer Charles Pic as their third driver for the new season.

Davide Valsecchi, who was Lotus’s third driver last year but was passed over when the team needed a replacement for Kimi Raikkonen, has not been retained.

Pic said he expects it will be “frustrating” to be on the sidelines this year after two seasons of racing for Marussia and Caterham.

“My role this year will be new and different from the previous two seasons when I was a race driver and it was very clear what I had to do, which was to optimise my own performance,” he sauid.

“This year as a third driver my role will be to help the team to enable Romain [Grosjean] and Pastor [Maldonado] to attain the team’s targets and deliver the best performance on track.”

However Pic said he was pleased to be joining a team which has been closer to the front of the grid: “Working with a top team is the next step in my development and I think I will learn a lot from this.”

“I’m happy with my progress from my first two seasons in Formula 1 and at 24 I still have good potential for the future.”

Pic said the E22 “looks like an exciting car, and certainly not the ugliest out there”.

“What matters is how it performs on track so the eight days of testing in Bahrain are important,” he added.

Lotus will also have two reserve and development drivers this year, with Marco Sorensen joining Nicolas Prost.

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Image © Lotus/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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20 comments on “Lotus appoint Pic as third driver”

  1. So unsurprised Davide jumped ship…..

    1. I think he just picked the wrong year. Pic’s now got in-season testing – and penalty points, so maybe more chance of a race ban for somebody! But his race experience will help too, if Lotus have a vacancy one weekend.

  2. That is a nice pic of Pic :-)

  3. If Valsecchi isn’t picked up by a team then there goes another very talented driver.

    1. I personally wouldn’t be too sorry. His attitude when he wasn’t chosen was horrific. Especially when he took it out of Heikki. I wouldn’t want a driver like that in my team personally.

  4. Given a choice to be a third driver, I think Force India and Lotus are best places to be. Force India, because they actually give you plenty of practice sessions. And Lotus because Lotus drivers are the most likely to get a race ban for bad driving on the track.

    1. Hell, good point there, Charles may drive most races this year LOL!

    2. Yeah, but last year proved being 3rd driver at Lotus doesn’t necessarily guarantee you get the vacant spot…

  5. pastor never smiles….

    1. He smiles when he is about to crash someone :D

  6. appointing pic was a reasonable thing, he has race experience and even though he didn’t have a very sucessfull career in f1 so far, he was not too bad in gp2.
    if lotus get put in front of the decision about a replacement driver, i think they’ve learned from their mistake last year and will actually let their 3rd driver race.

  7. Why does Romain have additional sponsors on his race suit that Pastor and Charles don’t have?

    1. Total used to be a major sponsor, but now that Lotus has PDVSA on the car they’ve been relegated to just some small logos and on Romain’s overalls.

      It would be like having Petronas and Petrobras in the same car, and now that I think of it oil companies seem to be the ones willing to spend more and more on sponsorships, they may replace the hole that tobacco giants left behind in the future.

  8. Pic is paying them to sit in the garage most weekends? Also French driver + Renault = profit?

  9. I feel really bad for valsecchi though. When kimi couldn’t race it should have been valsecchi’s seat. Bringing kovalainen in was just huge mistake and in worst case scenario it ended valsecchi’s chances to ever drive F1 car.

    At the time when it was announced that kovalainen would drive for lotus I was excited because I wrongly thought kovalainen had improved since his years at mclaren. How wrong I was. It was the old kovalainen in the lotus with the exact same problems he had when he was on mclaren. Good pace in practise sessions, decent qualifying but awful and erratic race pace.

    Before the american race I thought kovalainen had earned his place in midfield team for 2014 season. After the last 2 races of 2013 I did think kovalainen doesn’t deserve a seat in F1 at all…

    1. @socksolid
      I agree totally with your comments mate, it seemed that decision has impacted both the chance of a new rookie and also the comeback of a veteran. I was happy that Kovalainen got a shot but he did disappoint after a good start.

  10. Pleased for him. Hope he will replace Maldo for 2015. Not going to happen.
    If he finds a great new sponsor with a lot of money, he may have a chance.
    Still very unlikely.

  11. I’m still seeing far too many comments on here and Twitter saying Valsecchi should have been put in the car.

    There is no way you can prove that he would have done any better than what Kovalainen did. In fact, I feel like he wouldn’t have done as well, his attitude is rotten as well.

    For Pic, at least this time Lotus have a driver with F1 experience as a reserve. He also showed he is relatively capable, although he was outshone by VDG at times last season. It may also be wise with the penalty system being introduced and with Maldonado being… Well, Maldonado.

    1. @craig-o – That’s a bit harsh. Can you blame Valsecchi for being a bit less than exstatic after being the reserve driver that didn’t reserve? And I doubt very much that Heikki did much of a better job than he could have done, what with Davide being familiar with the team’s processes already and having shown well in previous F1 tests.

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