Ducthman Giedo van der Garde has signed a deal to become Caterhams reserve driver for 2012.
van der Garde won the 2008Formula Renault 3.5 title and has raced in GP2 since then. He also has previous experience with F1, in that he tested with Spyker, Force India, Super Agrui and Renault. Apart from testing in pre-season tests, van der Garde will also be participating in a number of Friday practice sessions during the season.
“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 principal Tony Fernandes said that he has had his eyes on the 26 year-old for some time and are elated to be able to sign him on.
“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.”