Skip to content

Long struggle culminates in F1 debut for van der Garde

Mar 6, 2013, 2:00 PM EST

F1 Testing in Barcelona - Day Three Getty Images

In 2007, Giedo van der Garde was embroiled in a contract dispute between two back-of-the-grid Formula 1 teams, Spyker and Super Aguri. Each had announced he would be their reserve driver, with Spyker eventually prevailing, but he never participated in a race weekend.

Times have changed. Spyker is now Force India, Super Aguri defunct barely after the 2008 season. And van der Garde, well on the radar of a race seat then but having fallen into relative obscurity since, re-entered the frame with Caterham as one of its reserve drivers a year ago.

Van der Garde participated in five of the last six Friday free practice one sessions, six in total in 2012, and has been confirmed as a race driver for the team this season. At 27, he’s the oldest rookie on the grid by a full four years.

“The main thing for me is that my dream is coming true,” he told the Formula 1 official website in a “rookie diary.” “I told my Dad when I was very young that I was going to be an F1 driver and now it’s happening. I never stopped working for it, never stopped believing it would happen, and with the help and support of a lot of very good people, I’m where I want to be.”

The 2007 season also marked the last time a Dutch driver was on the grid, when Christijan Albers raced for Spyker.

Van der Garde has spent the last four seasons in GP2, and raced in the World Series by Renault before that. He and Caterham teammate Charles Pic, only a sophomore in F1 at age 23, were teammates with the Barwa Addax team in GP2 in 2011.

As a rookie in a team that has yet to score a point in three seasons, expectations are minimal, other than gaining experience and furthering car development.

“Do I feel under pressure? No,” he said. “Not from the team as we’re realistic about what we can do this year. The pressure that does exist is from myself and my trainer. We are preparing as well as possible for the year ahead, but that’s good pressure, the sort that motivates you and pushes you to perform. But pressure on track? No. I know what to do – the team have helped me prepare as well as possible and I’m ready for what’s ahead.”

See also:

F1′s five rookies for 2013: what you need to know

Inside the mind of an F1 rookie

 

Latest Posts
  1. NASCAR: Austin Dillon to run “majority” of 2015 XFINITY Series season

    Nov 24, 2014, 5:30 PM EST

    AAA Texas 500 - Practice Getty Images

    Dillon will run the No. 33 Chevrolet in the XFINITY Series in addition to continuing his full-time duties in Sprint Cup.

  2. Mark Webber’s 1st WEC season to end in a very familiar place

    Nov 24, 2014, 4:49 PM EST

    AUTO-FRA-MOTOR-RACING-ENDURANCE Getty Images

    The former F1 racer won two Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, but he’s about to see the legendary track in a whole new light.

  3. NASCAR: “Fresh From Florida” group re-ups with Richard Petty Motorsports

    Nov 24, 2014, 3:32 PM EST

    Credit: Richard Petty Motorsports Credit: Richard Petty Motorsports

    Next season, the campaign will serve as primary sponsor for Aric Almirola’s No. 43 at Atlanta in March and Darlington in May.

  4. Sebastien Loeb will make rally return this January in Monte Carlo

    Nov 24, 2014, 2:33 PM EST

    AUTO-WTCC-MOROCCO Getty Images

    The nine-time World Rally Champion is now a full-time touring car racer, but will help kick off the 2015 WRC campaign for Citroen.

  5. RHR Borg-Warner set for December 3 unveil

    Nov 24, 2014, 2:00 PM EST

    Photo courtesy Steve Shunck Photo courtesy Steve Shunck

    Hunter-Reay’s face on the Borg-Warner Trophy set for December 3 reveal.

  6. #ThingsOdellCouldCatch: Sebastien Bourdais’ 2013 IndyCar trophy at Toronto (PHOTO/VIDEO)

    Nov 24, 2014, 1:15 PM EST

    IndyCar Toronto Auto Racing AP

    IndyCar gets in on the Odell Beckham Jr. meme game, and it’s a good one.

  7. Two racing tie-ins occurred at last night’s AMAs

    Nov 24, 2014, 1:00 PM EST

    Sage500 Getty Images

    Patrick Dempsey presenting and Brantley Gilbert winning makes for two racing tie-ins in a music show.

  8. Weekend wrap: Lewis Hamilton back on top of the F1 mountain

    Nov 24, 2014, 12:15 PM EST

    Lewis Hamilton AP

    Hammer Time in Abu Dhabi; Bird was the word for Formula E in Malaysia; a look at the NASCAR beat…

  9. Abu Dhabi test lineups set for Tuesday, Wednesday

    Nov 24, 2014, 11:45 AM EST

    ADtestlineup AP

    Lineups set for this week’s Abu Dhabi test.

  10. NASCAR: Amy, Brian France help support various charitable causes

    Nov 24, 2014, 11:00 AM EST

    bzf-459427566-2

    Frances busy with charitable efforts during and after the NASCAR season.

  11. Danica Patrick confirmed for another GoDaddy Super Bowl ad, which should feature a surprise guest

    Nov 24, 2014, 10:30 AM EST

    Danica Patrick AP

    Danica Patrick will be in another GoDaddy ad, with an intriguing guest star.

  12. F1′s fears are allayed as double points has no say in title fight

    Nov 24, 2014, 10:00 AM EST

    Mideast Emirates F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez the only drivers to benefit from double points in Abu Dhabi.

  13. Caterham’s return in Abu Dhabi fails to produce a big result

    Nov 24, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Qualifying Getty Images

    However, simply getting to the race must go down as an achievement for the backmarkers.

  14. Maurizio Arrivabene replaces Marco Mattiacci as Ferrari team principal

    Nov 24, 2014, 8:13 AM EST

    Arrivabene AP

    Mattiacci out, Arrivabene in as Ferrari team principal.

  15. Marussia remains ninth in constructors as Sauber fails to score in Abu Dhabi

    Nov 24, 2014, 8:00 AM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-ABU-DHABI-PRACTICE Getty Images

    Gutierrez finishes as the lead Sauber in a lowly 15th place on Sunday.

  16. (Updated) Remembering iconic motorsports PR great Denny Darnell

    Nov 23, 2014, 6:10 PM EST

    Denny Darnell (far left), with wife Jean, and Cyndee and Jerry Bonkowski. Denny Darnell (far left), with wife Jean, and Cyndee and Jerry Bonkowski.

    The world of motorsports — particularly NASCAR and NHRA — is mourning arguably the best public relations person it has ever seen, Denny Darnell, who passed away Saturday.

  17. Post-race fights in NASCAR Chase joked about during Eagles-Titans skirmish

    Nov 23, 2014, 6:00 PM EST

    Brad Keselowsk AP

    The Charlotte and Texas brawls from this year’s Chase are still resonating weeks after they occurred.

  18. Marcos Ambrose wasting no time gearing up for V8 Supercars return in Australia

    Nov 23, 2014, 5:17 PM EST

    Marcos Ambrose is back home in Australia and already back in a V8 Supercar, preparing for his first race in two weeks. (Robert Cianflone/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Marcos Ambrose is wasting little time in his return to racing V8 Supercars in his native Australia.

  19. Virtual insanity: Meet the Chevy Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo

    Nov 23, 2014, 4:30 PM EST

    Los Angeles Hosts Annual Auto Show Getty Images

    A wild concept collaboration for Gran Turismo 6 between the Bowtie and famous race car builder Chaparral.

Video from NASCAR America

Most unexpected event of 2014?
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1862)
  2. K. Kahne (1848)
  3. J. Johnson (1751)
  4. T. Stewart (1659)
  5. J. Logano (1646)