April 17, 2013
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After only 3 races out of the cockpit, former Caterham driver Heikki Kovalainen will drive for the team in the next two race weekends in the practice sessions.
He will take the place of Alexander Rossi, who was originally set to drive in these sessions. Kovalainen will drive in Giedo van der Garde’s car for FP1 and possibly FP2 for both race weekends.
Caterham say the reason for the switch is because of Rossi’s move to the Caterham GP2 team, replacing Ma Qing Hua. However, seeing as Heikki was originally dropped because of financial reasons, rumours are growing that the Finn is preparing a comeback with his former team.
February 1, 2013
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2012 test driver Giedo van der Garde has been promoted to a race seat for 2013 by Caterham.
After the departure of Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov, there was a huge roster of drivers looking to take one of the last remaining seats before the 2013 season started. It was believed that Adrian Sutil, Jaime Alguersuari, Bruno Senna and Luiz Razia were all in contention.
However, the team has made the decision to promote their test driver to join Charles Pic.
Van der Garde won two races in the 2012 GP2 championship, and previously finished 3rd in the 2011 GP2 Asia Series. He has also won the 2008 Formula Renault 3.5 championship. It is unknown whether the Dutch driver brings sponsorship to the backmarker team.
February 5, 2012
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Giedo van der Garde will move to Caterham after 3 years in GP2
Dutch racing driver Giedo van der Garde has been confirmed as the third/reserve driver for the Caterham team.
The 26-year-old will take part in several Friday practice 1 sessions throughout the year. He finished in 5th place in this year’s GP2 championship, having run as high as second in the closing rounds.
Van der Garde was a prospect for the final HRT seat, before he was beaten to the post by Narain Karthikeyan.
Despite missing out on a race seat, Giedo was full of praise for the Caterham team:
"The team [Caterham] is fresh, with some fantastic people here. 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."