Caterham signs Giedo van der Garde as reserve driver
|Saturday, February 4th 2012, 08:10 GMT|
Giedo van der Garde will be the Caterham Formula 1 team's reserve driver for the 2012 season.
The 26-year-old Dutchman has raced in GP2 since winning the 2008 Formula Renault 3.5 title, and was fifth in the '11 GP2 standings. Van der Garde has previous F1 testing experience with Spyker/Force India, Super Aguri and Renault.
Caterham will give van der Garde mileage in pre-season testing and in a number of Friday practice sessions alongside his reserve duties.
"The team is fresh, with some fantastic people here," said van der Garde. "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 boss Fernandes added that the squad had been following van der Garde's career for some time.
"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," said Fernandes.
"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."