May 3, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT
Giedo van der Garde is looking forward to his third practice session of the season for Sauber as his reserve driver duties continue ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Dutchman sought refuge at Sauber after being dropped by Caterham at the end of last season, and has already stated that he wants a full-time drive with the Swiss team next season. As reserve driver, he deputized for one of the full-time race drivers in practice in both Bahrain and China, and he will once again replace Esteban Gutierrez for FP1 in Spain next weekend.
“It is nice to come back to Europe and especially to Barcelona,” van der Garde explained. “The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a track that I like a lot. We will have some updates and our C33 will weigh less, so it will be interesting to see how the car behaves.
“I am positive, and I am keen to get back behind the wheel. After FP1 on Friday I will have a full day of testing on Tuesday, so I am looking forward to that.”
As mentioned, van der Garde will also take part in the post-race test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on the Tuesday and Wednesday after the race. He will share testing duties with Gutierrez as the team looks to bounce back from a poor start to the season.
Given how badly both Gutierrez and teammate Adrian Sutil have fared at the beginning of the 2014 season, van der Garde must fancy his chances of stepping up to a full-time drive with the team in the future, be it next season or perhaps earlier.
However, with Simona de Silvestro and Sergey Sirotkin also vying for the two seats on offer in 2015, the management at Sauber has a difficult decision to make for next year.
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