After years of being on the fringe, Giedo van der Garde will make his F1 debut this season having signed with Caterham
Van der Garde, who has been plying his trade in GP2 in recent years after failing to find a place in Formula One, linked up with Caterham last season when he signed as their reserve driver having also joined their GP2 outfit.
The Dutchman contested six Friday practices for the F1 team while in GP2 he scored six podiums and two race wins.
The 27-year-old will now have the opportunity to pit himself against some of the world’s best after being promoted to a race driver at Caterham F1.
“I am absolutely delighted to confirm that I will be racing in the 2013 F1 World Championship with Caterham,” he said.
“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.”
The rookie will partner Charles Pic this season in what is one of the most inexperienced driver pairings.
Team principal Cyril Abiteboul added: “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.
“We are all looking forward to seeing Giedo continue to progress as he takes on the ultimate challenge of F1.”