Van der Garde signs as Caterham reserve 05 Feb 2012
Caterham have confirmed that Dutchman Giedo van der Garde will be the team's official reserve driver in 2012. Van der Garde will participate in the upcoming pre-season tests and will take part in a number of Friday practice sessions at Grands Prix this year.
Im very happy to become a part of the Caterham F1 Team family and Im very excited about the next step in my career within Formula One, said Van der Garde. The team is fresh, with some fantastic people here. (Team principal) 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. Im looking forward to learning and moving forward with the team, in and out of the car.
Van der Garde, 26, won the 2008 Formula Renault 3.5 title before moving into GP2 where he finished fifth in the 2011 standings. He has previous F1 testing experience with Spyker/Force India, Super Aguri and Renault.
"We are delighted to welcome Giedo into the family as reserve driver, commented Fernandes. He is a very exciting prospect that we have been monitoring since the early days of our team, and we are all looking forward to seeing how he can help us develop throughout the season as we take our next steps towards the established midfield teams ahead.
"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 One with us."
Van der Garde will be the 14th driver from his nation to participate in a Grand Prix weekend and the first since Christijan Albers with Spyker back in 2007.
Its great for Holland that we again have a Dutch driver who is connected to Formula One, he said. Being the only Dutch driver now is very good for the sport in Holland, as the interest was perhaps on the decline since the Verstappen years, however I hope to generate the same excitement for my country and really bring Formula One to them.
I feel that the team as a whole is very ambitious. They appear to be very positive people and I think they are building up, growing and developing very quickly. I think this year they will be strong contenders! Well see after the test but I really have a feeling that its a big family here and they are pushing very hard to move up the grid.
I feel very strong now, Im fit, and Im mentally ready. Of course Ive spent a lot of time driving with guys who are now in Formula One and I feel Im ready for this. Id like to thank McGregor and everybody who has supported me in my career and for helping me take this next exciting step.
Caterham begin pre-season testing with their new CT01 car at Jerez in Spain on Tuesday, along with the bulk of the 2012 rivals.
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