Caterham announce that Giedo van der Garde will partner Charles Pic this season

Dutchman steps up from reserve driver role

By Mike Wise.   Last Updated: 13/02/13 11:16am

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Giedo van der Garde has been announced as Caterham's second race driver for the 2013 Formula 1 season.

The team confirmed on Friday afternoon that the 27-year-old Dutchman will partner Charles Pic. Van der Garde raced for Caterham in GP2 last season and also served as their reserve driver at six grands prix in 2012.

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"I am absolutely delighted to confirm that I will be racing in the 2013 F1 World Championship with Caterham F1 Team," van der Garde said in a team statement.

"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. 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 finished sixth overall in the feeder series last year and recorded two wins. However, his F1 career stretches as far back as 2007, when he was test and reserve driver for Super Aguri and also tested for Spyker.

"Everyone in the team is delighted that we can finally confirm that Giedo will be racing for us in the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship," Abiteboul said. "He has been part of our family since early 2012 when he joined our GP2 team and was appointed as Reserve Driver for the F1 team.

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A round-up show featuring the day's interviews from Jerez will go out at 9pm each evening of the test on Sky Sports F1.

"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."

Van der Garde and Pic have been team-mates before, at the Barwa Addax GP2 team in 2011.

"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," Abiteboul added.

How the 2013 grid is shaping up
Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
Ferrari: Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.
McLaren: Jenson Button and Sergio Perez.
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Lotus: Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.
Force India: Paul di Resta and TBC.
Sauber: Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez.
Toro Rosso: Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.
Williams: Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas.
Caterham: Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde.
Marussia: Max Chilton and TBC.

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