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Van Der Garde encouraged for future by Ricciardo promotion
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Giedo Van Der Garde
Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Sep 2013   |  7:44 pm GMT  |  20 comments

Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde says Daniel Ricciardo’s promotion to Red Bull, along with Sergio Perez deal with McLaren, has given him hope of progressing up the ladder in Formula 1.

Earlier this week, Red Bull announced that Ricciardo, who made his F1 debut with HRT at the 2011 British Grand Prix, would partner Sebastian Vettel at the team next year.

And this season, Sergio Perez, who debuted with Sauber at the 2011 Australian Grand Prix, is racing alongside Jenson Button at McLaren as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton.

Speaking in the latest edition of the JA on F1 podcast, which is coming soon, Van der Garde, 28, said: “For them [Ricciardo and Perez] it’s a great opportunity. I’m still very good friends with Checo and I know he’s very happy with McLaren. The results are not going as planned, but he said the team is pushing hard and he’s happy.

“It’s good to see Ricciardo get a seat next to Vettel for next season and I hope he does well. Of course it’s encouraging. I still keep on pushing and see where I end up.”

Van der Garde was a test driver for Spyker in 2007 and Force India in 2008. But his big chance came when he teamed up with Caterham. In 2012, he was given a run of drives in Friday practice sessions before being promoted to a race drive for the first time this season.

“It’s tough to come to Formula 1,” he said. “It took more years than expected to get here. It’s a tough life but once here, I think I’ve proven myself to be quick enough and belong here.”

The Dutchman struggled at the start of 2013, alongside team-mate Charles Pic who is in his second year in the sport, but has improved as the season has gone on, with the highlight being a P3 in Q1 of Belgian Grand Prix qualifying.

“The last couple of races have been going really well,” he added. “I see a lot of progression in myself, in the car and in the team. Yes, I’m very happy at the moment.”

Van der Garde said that he struggled with this year’s tyres during the races but following Pirelli’s decision to tweak the construction mid-season, he is feeling much more comfortable on them.

“I had some experience in GP2 but F1 is a different game so it took some time to get used to it,” he added. “But the main problem for me was the tyres. I was struggling with them, but after a few races I started to understand them better and my form started to go upwards.

“My style was a little bit too aggressive for the tyres, especially at the beginning of the season. They were heating up a bit too much so it was quite tough in the race as I had problems with degradation.

“Once I got the new [spec] tyres, I could employ my own driving style again. I’m a bit of a driver who likes to lean on the tyres. Now it’s going really well, I can drive the way I always did. I think the tyres have gone back to last year in terms of degradation. The tyres don’t heat up in the rear so much.”

Van der Garde is 21st in the drivers’ standings, with a best finish of 14th which he achieved in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

You can hear more from Giedo van der Garde in the September edition of the JA on F1 podcast which is coming soon. It also features an interview with Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams while former Williams chief engineer Mark Gillan analyses Red Bull’s decision to take Daniel Ricciardo.

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20 Comments
  1. IanC says:

    “Van der Garde is 21st in the drivers’ standings,”

    I’m always amused by that stat, when from 17th to 22nd in the drivers’ standings no one have actually scored any points.

    1. ScarletFever says:

      the ranking is based on where they finished in the race

    2. James Clayton says:

      No but they are still given rankings based on their best finishing position

    3. Equin0x says:

      Does anyone seriously believe VDG or Chilton will ever be in a top seat unless they can get their sponsors to pay in the regions of £35m a year? He’s trying to compare himself to Ricciardo but Daniel actually has real talent to be a top driver and for that deserves a top team VDG won’t. The driver in the bottom 2 team that deserves a top drive is Bianchi the others can either carry on funding the cash strapped team or find another series.

      1. christopher says:

        Riccardio was really way up there when he drove for HRT??????

        VDG won plenty of titles in lower racing classes and deserves to be in F1, I didnt see riccardio make it to Q2 twice in his HRT.

        common drivers can only do so much, they do need a car then can get them in the points.

        Bianchi impressed at the start but as season progressed and his car development stopped , he is continuously outpaced by both catherhams in Qualifying and Race.

        I would start reading up your F1 history before making any comment which just makes you look dumb.

  2. EdwinDutch83 says:

    As a fellow Dutchman and home-towner I’m probably biased, but I’d say Giedo is doing a pretty good job the last few races.. he’s already proven in other series he can be fast, but consistency was a bit of a problem. If he’ll continue like this I think more Dutch fans will support him and he’ll loose that image of paydriver. I hope he’ll stay in F1 next year.. that said though, generally the Dutch F1 fans see Robin Frijns as someone who’s probably the most talented Dutch guy on the highest level of car racing at the moment. It’s a shame he doesn’t have sponsors, he really deserves a shot. And I guinely think he could be a real star in F1 once given a chance.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Unfortunately if you don’t have sponsors you’ve hit a dead end.

    2. Horno says:

      Hi Edwin,

      Here an other fellow Dutchman over here;
      it is a shame that Sauber have not kept Frijns for 2014.
      Of course it is understandable that they have to go for the money, due to their future, but Frijns is a multiple champion in his first year in several classes, in my opinion he really should have a chance in F1, sadly though he hasn’t got enough sponsors..
      Probably a Dutch problem, because Dutch “Don’t Understand The Clue Here”.. lol

    3. Veteran says:

      Since you mention Frijns (which has a lot more talent than VDG), you’d still prefer VDG to be in F1 and Frijs not doing aything at all? In my opinion, VDG out (he will always be a paydriver), Frijns in.

      1. EdwinDutch83 says:

        No I prefer Frijns in for sure, even if that means VDG out. Only teams I can possibly think of that might be interested in Frijns are Williams, Force India and perhaps Lotus as a 3rd driver.

  3. K says:

    Ric got the seat because RBR desperately wants to prove their Young Driver program to be legit (which it isn’t) and Perez brought a lot of cash through his sponsors which McLaren desperately needs soon.

    Good luck Garde.

    1. Glennb says:

      How is it not ‘legit’?
      Take a look at next years RBR lineup. Both drivers from the TR program.

      1. Rich B says:

        not sure what ‘legit’ means, but over 30 drivers have been signed to the RB program and only 1 has become a champion. I don’t think any past driver even won a race. can’t really call it a successful program.

      2. Robert says:

        It’s not legit because if you wanted a younger driver – i.e., not Kimi or other big name, most in the paddock would suggest Hulkenberg, Sutil, or Di Resta, not Riccarido Daniel got the call only because he is at Toro Rosso – so in effect the young driver program has actually driven RB to pick a very good but probably not top choice. I think he will do well in that seat, but any of the three mentioned would probably score more points.

      3. christopher says:

        In the above list hulkenberger is the quickest.

        Hulkenberger is someone whom could actually beat vettel in the same car for sure.

  4. forzaminardi says:

    I like van der Garde as he’s someone who stuck it out for a long time in junior formulae and has good air of the ‘journeyman’ about him rather than being a ‘future superstar’ in the way so many rookies are promoted. He’s a good professional driver and he’s now doing a good professional job for Caterham. I’m not sure he’s done well enough to merit elevation up the grid, or even to be sure of keeping his seat in 2014, but kudos to him for finally getting to F1 and performing with pride and dignity.

  5. AuraF1 says:

    Actually seats on top teams being taken by younger drivers is BAD news for him. He needs guys looking at retirement or moving to other formulae to have a chance.

  6. Stephen Taylor says:

    I always find this funny but the F1 car is the heaviest car to have the Caterham name.

  7. Elie says:

    I gotta say I like the personality of. Van De Garde he’s a bit more mature and yes he has improved over the last three races. I can only wish him well for the future.

  8. tony lane says:

    at the moment I think that FORMULA ONE has lost it’s way ,okay so the best car is winning the races but the best drivers are not getting a look in, drivers like ALONSO RAIKKONEN and HAMILTON, it really needs to be set up differently with all the teams having their own choice of tyres, so that each driver will have the tyres that suit him and the car, because if things don’t change people will lose interest in this sport, the same problems is happening in the MOTO GP with the light weights doing better than the heavier riders.

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