Van der Garde completes Caterham’s line-up

2013 F1 season

Giedo van der Garde, Caterham, Yas Marina, 2012Giedo van der Garde has been confirmed as Caterham’s second driver for 2013.

He joins Charles Pic in an all-new driver pairing for the team who fielded Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov last year.

“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.

“Throughout 2012 I was able to fully integrate myself into the team, both through the FP1 sessions I ran at a number of tracks that were then new to me, and as Reserve Driver, fully embedded with the team throughout the season.

“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.”

Van der Garde is already familiar with the team having driven for them in practice sessions on six occasions last year. He also drove for their GP2 team and finished sixth in the category last year which was the fourth year in a row he placed inside the top seven.

The 27-year-old will be the first Dutch driver to compete in Formula One since Christijan Albers in the 2007 British Grand Prix.

Team principal Cyril Abiteboul said: “This is the next natural step for Giedo with our team. We continue to grow as a team and we are committed to giving young talent across the motorsport industry the chance to grow with us and this is Giedo?s opportunity to show he deserves his place at the very highest level of global motorsport.

“He and Charles have been team-mates before 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.”

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82 comments on Van der Garde completes Caterham’s line-up

  1. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 1st February 2013, 15:34

    Not a Caterham fan but people slating them and saying ‘but Kamui and Petrov deserves the seat moar’ need to remember that both where just as underwhelming as Giedo in GP2 but turned out to be pretty decent in F1.

    I mean give the guy a chance, it’s not like Caterham are the only team fielding pay drivers. The so called ‘established teams’ also have their fair share of mediocre pay drivers *cough*Gutierrez*cough*

  2. montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 1st February 2013, 15:41

    Lost all respect I had for them. Van der Garde? A real F1 level driver, sure

    Sad days for F1 keep on coming one after another. Any true F1 fan should feel concerned and downbeat by this chain of events. The direction F1 is heading for is the direction of death. And yes, as in human body, the peripherals start to die-off first. So enjoy it while it lasts ladies and gentlemen

    • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 1st February 2013, 15:57

      @montreal95 Tad overdramatic, perhaps?

      Let’s take a look at these facts. Caterham’s best (and indeed, only) season result is 10th. They are starting to build a car around themselves that is starting to bridge the gap to the lower midfield runners. They’ve replaced Kovalienen and Petrov, those two drivers have had a chance in teams that are competitive, and haven’t shown, and have had their few years in a backmarker car. People weren’t this sad when Trulli left last year, why should this be any different?

      Giedo is a decent driver, otherwise he wouldn’t have flagged up on their list. He knows the team, he’s driven last years car on a few tracks. I’d say he’s a better option than Pic for a Caterham driver.

      This isn’t the end of F1, it’s a GP2 driver signing for a backmarker.

      • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 1st February 2013, 18:54

        @keeleyobsessed Some of your facts are just opinion. Kovalainen has shown very well at Renault. He failed at Mclaren, true, but no one is questioning his status as a legit F1 driver. Petrov hadn’t shown badly at Renault either. He also at least fought for GP2 title, something that VdG had never done. Pic has shown him the way as team-mate, having just arrived in GP2 whilst VdG was in his 3rd season, and he’s nothing too special himself. VdG is 27 years old, had spent 3 years in Formula 3, 2 years in WSbR and 4 years in GP2, and nowhere apart from WSbR has he shown anything special and got beaten by less experienced team-mates. He’s the epitome of a pay driver. How can they expect to maximize their car’s potential with a line-up like that? It just means they’ve given up and cannot be taken seriously anymore

        It’s pathetic by itself that Caterham who pretend to be a serious F1 team has chosen a line-up with not one but two pay drivers(even perennial back-markers Minardi had always maintained a 1-1 promising talent VS moneybag ratio). But viewing it in isolation like you have done stating that ” it’s a GP2 driver signing for a backmarker” is burying your head in the sand. It’s a part of a much bigger thing. The last decent driver of a back-marker team(Glock) has been let down last week so now we have Pic,Chilton and VdG. And if the rumors about Marussia signing of Razia are true, the doomsday picture you label over-dramatic will be complete. Apart from Pic, not one of those would even dream of being in F1 just a few years ago, and not even Pic is as good as the man he replaces

        Furthermore, Force India have yet to name their second driver and it may yet be a pay-driver despite all their claims to the contrary. Sauber have replaced KK with Gutierrez(not the same, as EG is much faster than VdG, but related). The pattern is building don’t you think? That’s why I said “chain of events”. Hope this snowball can yet be stopped, but the “patient’s” current health is not good and keeps going downhill. Of course, since we can’t do anything about it, maybe your approach is better :)

  3. Meander (@meander) said on 1st February 2013, 15:43

    People are being rather harsh on van der Garde as well. Of course he’s no shooting star, and has failed to perform when it counted most, but to be fair he was in the running for the GP2 title for one or two years (’10/’11?) and he had a fair amount of bad luck (being pelted off the track by a midfielder for instance) as well which obviously didn’t help his bid.
    Somehow, in the years that it counted, it slipped through his hands (or he let it slip). Last year he was never really in contention with that team.

    Personally, I think he’ll deliver the goods. I don’t expect the Caterhams to line up 11 and 12 on the grid or anything, but I think that Pic and van der Garde are good enough to do any job that an underwhelming Petrov and uninspired Kovalinen could have done in the same car.

  4. mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 1st February 2013, 15:50

    People are quick to forget he has one of the better track records in Formula Renault 3.5, which he won in 2008.

  5. Txizzle (@txizzle) said on 1st February 2013, 15:55

    Remember Caterham stealing back 10th in the standings in Brazil? Won’t be happening this year.

    I have no qualms with Pic, I can see he’s talented, but probably lacks experience.
    To then bring in a rooky who hasn’t really impressed that much over the last few years…uhm….won’t cut it (for the team, not specifically him). I think Pic will outperform VdG with some ease.

  6. Hairs (@hairs) said on 1st February 2013, 16:02

    I have no opinion on GvG, as I haven’t followed his progress up to now.

    However, it’s telling of the average fan’s romantic view of the sport that there’s such negativity towards a ‘pay driver’. We all appreciate the engineering, but we love the drivers. The idea of one man battling it out on skill alone is still the cocktail that gets things going, it’s why Alonso was a favourite of many last year.

    But the truth is that a top line driver might get you half a second over a middling one. A top line technical brain can get you 3 or four times that, for a tenth of the salary. It’s not difficult to see where a clever team would spend the money.

  7. zimkazimka (@zimkazimka) said on 1st February 2013, 16:06

    well, the only possible explanation is that Caterham are saving as much money as possible for developing the 2014 car. and Petrov… he’ll be back in Sochi in a Marussia come 2014, mark my words.

  8. andae23 (@andae23) said on 1st February 2013, 16:27

    Being Dutch, I should be excited that we will have a Dutchman in Formula 1 for the first time since ‘maximum attack’ Albers some five years ago, but I’m not. Looking at our last two drivers, Albers and Doornbos, they both joined Formula 1 at a backmarker team and never really seemed to have the ambition to move up the ladder – they just enjoyed the fact that they are Formula 1 drivers. And when I read Van der Garde’s press release, he mentioned this his ‘ultimate goal’. Anyone starting to notice a pattern?

    The mentality simply isn’t right. If I were a GP2 driver, my ultimate goal would be to become Formula 1 world champion. Of course you take a risk, as you might reject some Caterham/Spyker/Minardi contracts along the way, but in my opinion it’s worth it if you have the mentality of a winner. That’s also why I am so excited about Frijns: he wants to become champion, he has said that in multiple interviews. And Sauber seems like the perfect platform for him to achieve that.

    On a different note – we will probably have six rookies: Guttierez, Bottas, Van der Garde, Chilton and probably Razia and Bianchi. That tells a lot.

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 1st February 2013, 16:34

      Just to clarify: I’m not dissappointed with the ‘fact’ that another pay driver has joined the grid, I’m dissappointed with his mentality. I think a lot of people are treating Giedo van der Garde as the gazillionth pay driver to join the grid, but his track record is A LOT better than Chilton’s, Bottas’ and Razia’s. People, please stop ‘moaning’.

  9. wsrgo said on 1st February 2013, 16:28

    People forget that VDG dominated World Series by Renault in 2008.

  10. Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 1st February 2013, 16:43

    Ok. It might just be a save-all-the-money-you-can year for Caterham. 3 years no success. Haven’t heard about new tech people joining the team. Might make sense to cut all the losses and make as much money as possible this year. Two drivers who bring money and hope for 10th position. And then sell the team or try to be successful for 2014. At least not finish in debt. If it is so then I can’t imagine how low the team spirit is… contrary what happened with Lotus when Kimi joined the team.

    Mike Gascoyne’s time’s time is up… or has been for a while.

  11. RalphBrian said on 1st February 2013, 16:43

    Ooh yeah the next Dutchman steps in to F1!
    Good for Giedo, long overdue… wrong timing at Super Aguri and Spyker!
    So yes he brings money, so what this is F1, besides he has a years running on actual race tracks.
    Ooh did i mention a Dutchman in F1… if Gutierrez won’t step up his game the other next dutchman is taking his position; read Frijns being quicker then Gutierrez.
    About McGregor they sponsor Williams!

  12. Matthew (@f1matt) said on 1st February 2013, 16:49

    The cars should be much more simpler & cheaper.

    None of this umpteen knobs on the steering wheel for a multitude of things.

    If even things such as fuel mixes must make engines more expensive.?

    Simplify and make cheaper = more money for better drivers.

  13. foleyger (@foleyger) said on 1st February 2013, 17:26

    tis sad to see that Caterham are getting another pay driver instead of a quality driver like Heikki. I knowe ur goin to say money is important to develop the team but Tony Fernandes has wasted an awful lot of money at QPR the last 2 seasons. He could have spent the money on the F1 team

  14. George (@george) said on 1st February 2013, 18:15

    Well I’m happy for him, he’s been on the fringe of this seat for a long time. Pic/VDG is a solid lineup in my opinion.

  15. Michael Brown (@) said on 1st February 2013, 18:18

    I expected Petrov to be honest

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