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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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’.

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    I expected Petrov to be honest

  11. the_sigman (@sigman1998) said on 1st February 2013, 18:33

    That makes us many rookies: van der Garde, Bottas, Chilton, Gutierrez with the (high) possibility of having another two. Last year we had two, in 2011 four, in 2010 five and in 2009 only 1

  12. Allen James said on 1st February 2013, 19:09

    Great stuff from the Caterham team. They made the right choice with this pare of drivers. I think the team will preform much better then last year with Pic and Van der Garde, instead of the unmotivated Heikki Kovalainen and the unpopulair within in the team, Vitaly Petrov. Kovalainen had his chance and didn’t gave Caterham that extra boost in the last couple of years. With Giedo and Charles they have a young motivated and talented driver lineup. Giedo always achieved in GP2 and before, had some bad luck, but was always in the top 5 of best drivers. Charles did really well last season and i think both drivers will push each other higher on the grid. I don’t understand why people are sad or angry at Caterham, not to stick with Heikki. Heikki is at the same category as Pic and Van der Garde. Not huge talents, but also not under achievers. And look it from the bright for Caterham, they can use the extra money. So i am happy and will support the team next season.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st February 2013, 22:43

      There is no evidence that Kovalainen was unmotivated or that Petrov was unpopular.

      • Allen James said on 2nd February 2013, 8:26

        You didn’t saw how Kovalainen drove in the last couple of races? Throwing his helmet away etc..? And Petrov beated him in the second halve of the season. i don’t blame him not being motivated anymore after three years at the back and no midfield deal for 2013..

  13. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 1st February 2013, 19:16

    Yessss!!!
    Call me an old fashoined chauvinist, but I like it when a driver from my country competes in my favourite sport!
    Yes, Frijns seems a more exciting prospect, but I will follow Vd Garde and wish for Kobayashi-esque improvements with this promotion!

  14. reprep (@reprep) said on 1st February 2013, 20:08

    im dutch, and yes, this guy isnt the best driver of the grid, and he did 4 years in GP2
    but Van der Garde had so much bad luck in it, in 2011 he was on pure racespeed the 2nd driver after Romain Grosjean, but a series of strange penalty’s (drive through) and some crashes, what wasnt his fault he ended up 5th in 2011 gp2 series, while he should have been nr 2 in my oppinion, for 2012 he didnt want to drive gp2, but was asked by caterham to drive and build up the experience at the caterham gp2 team, he did that and won 2 races.


  15. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 1st February 2013, 21:05

    It’s tough for Heikki and his fans that he’s out of a drive for 2013, but perhaps it was time for Heikki to move on anyway. He and Timo Glock joined the new teams in the hope of taking them forward, but that hasn’t happened, and what good would it do either of them to race around for 14th place for another year? Also personally, I’m happy to see a new face at Caterham. It would have been nice to see what Kovalainen could have done if he had bagged that Ferrari drive – which seemed so likely 9 months ago – but another year of Kovalainen at Caterham? I’d rather watch someone new.

    As for Van der Garde, I think all the “here goes the neighbourhood” comments are a little exaggerated. I think most here would agree that after last year Pic deserves his place in F1, and they were evenly matched as team mates in 2011. It’s up to Guido this year to prove that he is no less deserving of a drive in F1 than his team mate.

    Finally, as a Dutchman, I will always welcome a compatriot to the grid; there’s been little enough to cheer about over the years, with only Verstappen putting in some impressive performances now and again.

  16. Verstappen GP (@verstappengp) said on 1st February 2013, 21:42

    people seem to forget he’s the 2008 formula Renault 3.5

  17. radiophonic (@radiophonic) said on 1st February 2013, 22:03

    If you take out the top 5 teams (ferrari, mclaren, lotus, red bull, mercedes), the grid looks pretty weak to be honest and the gap between the quality of drivers at the top and bottom is surely widening. With the possible exception of Hulkenburg, i wouldnt chose any of those drivers over glock or kovalainen.

  18. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st February 2013, 22:40

    It looks like the only person who is happy about Giedo van der Garde joining the grid is Giedo van der Garde.

  19. Denis 68 said on 2nd February 2013, 2:20

    Valsecchi deserved an F1 race seat ahead of Van Der Garde, Chilton, Razia and Gutierrez. He’s at least won two GP2 titles.

  20. superralli (@superralli) said on 2nd February 2013, 3:36

    Time to face the truth for everyone who loved F1 over all those decades. F1 is no longer the category in motorsport where the world’s best drivers fight for the World Championship title.
    Nowadays F1 is mainly and almost only a medium that is used to advertise and sell the sponsors products on the lucrative asian markets.
    The sports has gone now and the races of the past years already proved the lack of skills from many drivers, which will only get worse this year.
    One personal note frome me, someone who saw his first F1 GP live in 1967, followed it all with enthusiasm, love, support over 45 years now, and who also worked in F1 for more than a decade (1989 -2000)… It breaks my heart to see F1 slowly fading like this. But it is no longer what it was, and very certainly will never be again…

    • Allen James said on 2nd February 2013, 8:34

      This is just sentiment, my father always told me when i was young and i asked him what i need to do to become a formula 1 driver; he said, first of all, you have to have a big load of money. It has always been this way. Remember the 90’s? With all the pay drivers at the back of the grid? i am not saying i disagree with you, i can relate myself to this. It’s getting poor when halve of the grid is paying big prizes for a seat and talents like Da Costa, Frijns are being skipped away. But this is the reality and i don’t think Pic, VdGarde, Razia etc are bad loads.

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