Van der Garde gets second seat at Caterham

Dutchman steps up from reserve driver role to partner Charles Pic at Leafield team.

Caterham have confirmed that reserve driver Giedo van der Garde will move up to a race seat with the team this season, alongside Charles Pic.

“I am ready to take the step up to F1 and all the work I have done throughout my career has brought me to my ultimate goal.”
Giedo van der Garde

The announcement means that last season’s Caterham pairing of Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen are now without F1 drives.

“I know I am ready to take the step up to F1 and all the work I have done throughout my career, and particularly in the last year with this team, has brought me to my ultimate goal,” said van der Garde. “Now I can continue to learn at the highest level of motorsport and show that I am ready for F1. I cannot wait to start work.”

As well as being last season’s reserve driver van der Garde contested the 2012 GP2 season for Caterham Racing, for whom he scored two race wins – in Spain and Singapore – and six podium finishes. He finished the season in sixth place.

Of van der Garde’s signing, Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul, said: “Everyone in the team is delighted that we can finally confirm that Giedo will be racing for us. He acquitted himself extremely well in both his GP2 season and his six FP1 sessions, progressively improving his outright pace, technical feedback and his relationship with his engineers and mechanics, giving us the clear justification for promoting him to F1.

“This is the next natural step for Giedo with our team,” he added. “He and Charles have been team-mates before [at Barwa Addax in GP2 in 2011], so he is an excellent choice to partner Charles in what is going to be another very interesting season, and we are all looking forward to seeing Giedo continue to progress as he takes on the ultimate challenge of F1.”