The Dutchman beat out competition from numerous more experienced drivers-such as Bruno Senna, Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen- to win the drive so it is clear that he will bring with him a sizeable cheque from his various sponsors. The move was far from unexpected however with van der Garde having ran in numerous FP1 sessions for Caterham last season.
Team principal, Cyril Abiteboul, was clearly keen to point out van der Garde’s past with the team in GP2 with the Frenchman commenting:
“This is the next natural step for Giedo with our team,” said Abiteboul in the press release announcing the hiring. “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.”
Van der Garde, who won twice in GP2, performed well throughout his dual role in 2012 but focusing on a full season will obviously be a very different challenge for the 28 year old:
“I am absolutely delighted to confirm that I will be racing in the 2013 F1 World Championship with Caterham F1 Team,” said the Dutchman. “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.”