CATERHAM have confirmed Giedo van der Garde as their second driver for the new Formula 1 season.
The 27-year-old Dutch driver makes the step up from the GP2 series and his role as Caterham’s reserve driver, and joins Frenchman Charles Pic in an all-new driver line-up. Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul said: “Everyone in the team is delighted that we can finally confirm that Giedo will be racing for us in the 2013 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
“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. He acquitted himself extremely well in both his GP2 season and his six free practice 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.”
Meanwhile, Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali believes it is crucial the Italian marque hit the ground running in 2013.
The scuderia, who unveiled the new F138 at Maranello yesterday, missed out on the 2012 title in heartbreaking fashion as Sebastian Vettel’s charge back through the field in Brazil saw Fernando Alonso beaten to the prize by just three points.
The Spaniard’s title charge was ultimately undermined by a slow start to the season, and a lack of qualifying pace throughout the year.
But Domenicali hopes things will be different in 2013. After seeing the wraps come off the team’s new challenger, which does not feature the stepped nose that became the norm in F1 last season, Domenicali said: “The key objective is to immediately deliver a competitive car to the drivers. Unfortunately in recent seasons we have not been able to get to the start of the season right on top of what we are doing like our competitors.”