Caterham announce Giedo van der Garde as third driver

2012 F1 season

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Dutchman Giedo van der Garde has been announced as Caterham’s third driver.

Van der Garde finished fifth in GP2 last year, his best result in three years of competing in the category.

The 26-year-old said: “I’m very happy to become a part of the Caterham F1 Team family today and I’m very excited about the next step in my career within Formula 1.

“The team is fresh, with some fantastic people here. Tony Fernandes is extremely ambitious and he has brought in a lot of very good people in to help grow this team for future success. I’m looking forward to learning and moving forward with the team in and out of the car.

“It’s great for Holland that we again have a Dutch driver who is connected to Formula 1. Being the only Dutch driver now is very good for the sport in Holland, as the interest was perhaps on the decline since the [Jos] Verstappen years, however I hope to generate the same excitement for my country and really bring Formula 1 to them.”

Team principal Tony Fernandes called van der Garde a “very exciting prospect”.

He added: “His performances in GP2, particularly in 2011, mark Giedo out as one of motorsport’s brightest prospects, and securing him as reserve driver is a real coup for our team. I am sure he will flourish on and off track, and we wish him all the best as he takes the next step into Formula 1 with us.”

According to the team, van der Garde’s duties will include some appearances in first practice sessions during the season.

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Image © Caterham

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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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29 comments on “Caterham announce Giedo van der Garde as third driver”

  1. As this came so soon after Karthikeyan being confirmed at HRT, I think Giedo had stopped talking with HRT some while ago.
    I didn’t see this happening.

    1. I understood he has been in talks about this deal for quite a while now. But it was partly dependant on Petrov’s backers not coming up with enough money to buy Trulli’s seat, something that apparently is out of the equation by now.

      1. But it was partly dependant on Petrov’s backers not coming up with enough money to buy Trulli’s seat, something that apparently is out of the equation by now.

        @bascb – sorry, what exactly did you mean by this? It can kind of be read either way.

        1. I meant that I understood Petrov will not get that Caterham drive now.

          1. I have heard that he has had trouble getting the funds together, but I have not heard that Caterham have totally lost interst in him.

            It’s a shame, because Jarno Trulli is just a waste of a seat. I expect he’ll be the first (or second; I have my doubts about Bruno Senna) person replaced in 2012.

  2. Pretty good news for him. Considering Trulli is out of contract at the end of 2012 and he’s getting some seat time in FP things may look good for his future.

    I wouldn’t think his results in GP2 mean he is a deserving driver yet but who knows…

    1. Even though he became only fifth in last year’s GP2, he was in a solid second place for most of the season. He was just very unlucky during the final weekends at Spa and Monza. He really deserves to be part of the Caterham team I think.

      1. I was gonna ask. The results don’t sound that impressive for a 26 year old.

      2. I didn’t keep too close an eye to GP2 last year, but 2nd – 5th in the standings were very, very close. Grosjean was in his own league, but van der Garde was right up there for the best of the rest with Filippi, Bianchi and Pic.

        1. Yeah, Barwa had a bizarre late-season collapse last year. They were fine up until Hungary, but then completely blew it in Belgium. Pic got bumped to the back of the grid for not having enough fuel ater qualifying, and then both were involved in collisions in the feature race. They had to start the sprint race from the back of the grid, and finished nineteenth and twentieth. Even though Pic took second in the Monza feature race, it was enough for Filippi and Bianchi to leapfrog them in the drivers’ standings.

    2. If Razia performs well, he’s a contender too.

      1. I doubt Razia is a serious contender for a drive, whatever he says.

  3. I think this is actually a better career-move for Giedo than joining HRT. Being part of an ambitious team with two very experienced drivers will learn him more than driving for HRT, I reckon. I’m very looking forward to seeing a fellow-Dutchman in GP-practices soon.

    1. To be honest, I am not holding my breath for this. Guido seems to be quite an OK driver, as was Doornbos or even Alberts. But so far I did not get the impression he was anything special, save for the backing he brings with him.

      On the other hand, its nice to have a Dutchman in the field again, let’s hope he shows some promise and will be good enough to race in F1 in the future.

  4. I guess he and his management want security!

    HRT can’t provide that, having been previously test-driver at Super Aguri and Spyker F1. You don’t want your budget to float away… Spyker F1 still owed him some testing miles! Alas budget has been refunded somewhat. (and he knows the ways of Dr. Kolles although no longer HRT!)

    But yeah smart move, way to go Giedo!
    Rating Caterham F1 supreme above Marussia Virigin and HRT.

  5. interesting, hopefully he drives fp1 in barcelona. Anyway i also think this is better than HRT and if Trulli again underpreformance this season, who knows what will happen.

  6. fifth- his best result in three years of competing in the category.

    Son, I am disappoint.

    1. I Love The Pope
      5th February 2012, 4:29

      Your avatar is the greatest avatar of all time on the internet.

      OF ALL TIME!

      I’m just sayin’

    2. It hurts to see a comment like this, slamming a driver and his results. I’m quiet sure you haven’t followed the GP2 season closely last year – I almost wish Keith would make a couple of his wonderful graphs to show how it developed.

      Van der Garde had absolutely horrendous luck last year. He was nr. 2 in the standings for almost all season, even tied with Grosjean early on if im correct. The reason he failed to consolidate his spot and move away from the rest of the field was partly due to unlucky decisions and choices, and partly due to him getting pelted out of the race by other drivers on a number of occasions.

      He only slipped to fifth in the end, and seeing how horrible his last races went and considering how close the field behind Grosjean was, this is still a good performance.

      I’m not saying he is the best thing that ever happened to racing, but people should at least know a little about him before blowing him off like that.

      1. But that can apply in sympathy to every driver.

        You are right, but I think at some points the results have to come.

    3. It always strikes me as odd that drivers’ GP2 results are so closely studied, given that only 1 former GP2/F3000 champion has ever won the F1 WDC…

      1. That’s because the series is still relatively young. The only people who have won the F1 WDC since GP2 started have been a GP2 champion, existing drivers (Alonso, Button, Raikkonen) or Vettel who didn’t compete in GP2- if he had he would have had his results studied, and if his performance in F1 and other series is any indicator he could well have won in GP2. But GP2 is now the main series that drivers graduate from (Vettel being the exception rather than the rule), so of course people look at the results of drivers in that series.

  7. Couldn’t find a source but I read on a dutch forum that Petrov has until tuesday to show the money, or else the team will compare van der Garde and Trulli – for Trulli’s seat – during the first 8 raceweekends.
    I’m hoping!
    We all know Kobayasi…
    We all know Karthikeyan…

    1. I’m hoping!

      I’m hoping, too. But for a totally different outcome to what you’re looking hoping for.

  8. I Love The Pope
    5th February 2012, 4:30

    This guy’s name should be Van Munde Garde.

    1. For a reserve drive in one of the weakest teams on the grid?


  9. En Garde Trulli!

  10. Its interesting all these people saying how good he is when he plainly isnt.
    Apart from Grosjean, no one who competed in GP2 last year are deserving to be in F1. All I can say is that he has gained his test/reserve seat due to his wonga, which is substancial. If Caterham thought he was decent he would have been given Trulli’s seat

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