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Leal completes first F1 test, Berthon joins Caterham

Jul 11, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

F1 Testing At Silverstone - Day Two Getty Images

GP2 drivers Julian Leal and Nathanael Berthon have both taken another step towards reaching Formula 1 thanks to Caterham F1 Team.

Leal completed his first F1 test with the team at Silverstone on Wednesday, and despite an electrical problem curtailing his initial run after just one lap, the Colombian was pleased with his day of running.

“I would like to thank everyone at Caterham F1 Team and all our partners for helping make today happen,” Leal said. “Stepping up to F1 has always been my goal and today it came true for the first time, thanks to the hard work of a lot of people, so thank you to all of them.

“We completed 51 laps which is just over the 300km required to be eligible for a superlicense, so I’m very pleased we achieved the main goal today!”

Fellow GP2 driver Nathanael Berthon has also secured a new tie with Caterham following the team’s change of ownership. He is the first member of the new ‘driver development’ programme, and new team principal Christijan Albers was pleased to confirm the signing of the 25-year-old.

“We are very pleased to welcome Nathanael into our team as the first driver in our Development Driver Program,” Albers said. “He is an exciting young talent with a proven track record in the feeder series for F1 and as he already has F1 experience he fits very neatly into our team.

“We will work closely with him to help him reach his full potential and are all excited about seeing him continue to grow as a driver, in and out of the cockpit.”

Last weekend’s GP2 races in Great Britain saw Leal secure two fifth place finishes at Silverstone, leaving him eighth in the drivers’ standings. Berthon failed to score any points once again, but did manage to equal his best finish of the season in 12th place on Sunday.

  1. techmeister1 - Jul 11, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    You can only hope that any truly competent young driver moves on quickly from a backmarker drive as the equipment and team are so unlike real F1 teams as to make it difficult for young drivers to ever reach their full potential. More than one year with these folks could be a career ending situation.

  2. kitnamania13 - Jul 11, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Berthon must be bringing in a ton of money. Other than a grid-inversion special at the Hungaroring, he’s done absolutely nothing in GP2. Conor Daly has really made him look bad this season.

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