GP2 Series

Van Der Garde Confident Of Podium Return With Caterham In Germany

3 Mins read
Giedo van der Garde - Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service

Giedo van der Garde says that he is confident of returning to the GP2 Series podium this weekend at Hockenheim.

The Caterham Racing driver enjoyed a victory in Barcelona followed by a double top-three finish in Monaco, which saw him lie third in the drivers' standings.

The Dutchman has only scored a few points at the previous two rounds in Valencia and Silverstone however, dropping him to sixth.

He says that he feels well prepared coming into the weekend.

“Hockenheim is quite a nice track,” he begins. “It is small but the last part is very technical so I am looking forward to driving here.

“My preparation has been going well and I’m feeling physically ready for what’s to come. I have been on the simulator and working hard on my fitness so I’m all set. We had a good meeting in the factory last week, going through why Silverstone didn’t go to plan and we analysed and discussed everything and the outcome was very positive.”

Van der Garde is confident that Hockenheim will see him scoring well again.

“You have got to take the good with the bad and make sure these situations do not happen again and now it is a new weekend with new opportunities so we have got to make sure we have a good qualifying with strong races to follow.

“The most important thing is to get up there in the points. It has been a while since we were on the podium so that has to be the aim and I am feeling confident we can do that here.”

Teammate Rodolfo Gonzalez has also had a tough time in the last couple of race weekends, which saw him fail to add to the single points finish he has managed so far in 2012.

Rodolfo Gonzalez - Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service

Gonzalez’s Silverstone was made difficult when he was taken out by a rival under the safety car – Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service

“I have had a busy few weeks now,” said the Venezuelan. “Since before the Silverstone weekend I have been on the road – at the factory with the team and at Pro Performance for training, but I feel good and excited about the races ahead.

“I was in France on Tuesday for an aero test with Caterham F1 Team which went really well and now after two difficult GP2 race weekends in Valencia and Silverstone I hope our luck can turn here in Germany.”

Like his teammate, Gonzalez is confident of an improvement in fortunes at Hockenheim.

“I quite like this track. There are long straights and the last section of the circuit requires good aerodynamics. It will be interesting to drive here this year with the GP2 aero package we have and hopefully it will stay dry, especially for qualifying. My focus is on driving with discipline and concentration and limit my expectations, but I am feeling good and I hope we can have a positive weekend.”

With Hockenheim only a biennial fixture on the GP2 calendar at the Caterham team only in their second campaign in the feeder series, it will be their first time racing there. But Team Manager Phill Spencer doesn't see this as an issue.

“As a team we come to Hockenheim with no experience of the track, however, as individuals most of the team have raced here in the past so we are as optimistic as ever ahead of what will be a busy two weeks away with our two back-to-back races,” said Spencer.

“This week a lot of what is to come will be dependent on the weather. Historically it can get quite hot here and we know our cars perform well in hot conditions so I look forward to moving on from a disappointing Silverstone and aim to see both our cars finishing in the points.”

Giedo Van der Garde - Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service

After a difficult Silverstone weekend, Caterham lie seventh in the teams’ standings – Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service

Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett added that the challenge of a new venue does give the team a little more work to do beforehand, but the nature of the Baden-Wurttemberg circuit makes things a bit easier.

“We have had a little more preparation work to do in the run up to this weekend since this will be our first time in Hockenheim as Caterham Racing, but overall it is not a difficult track to understand,” explained Corbett.

“It is a little bumpy and good traction is needed, as well as strong braking stability to really make the most of the overtaking opportunities here. There is a history of graining if the track temperature are quite low and although it is a shadow of its former self the German crowds make up for it by creating an incredible atmosphere.

“We will be using the medium and soft tyre compounds, as we did in Silverstone, and like the last round the forecast is changeable so although I am a little apprehensive about how the tyres will behave I feel confident we can draw from our Silverstone experiences and overcome any issues that might occur. Both drivers are keen to get going so we have got to stay fully focused and perform well here.”

1882 posts

About author
Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
Related posts
Formula 2GP2 Series

FIA announce GP2 re-branding as FIA Formula 2 Championship

1 Mins read
The FIA Formula 2 Championship has been born following the re-branding of the GP2 Series, starting with the 2017 season.
Formula 2GP2 Series

ART Grand Prix bring Albon into GP2 Series line-up

1 Mins read
Alexander Albon will make the jump from GP3 to GP2 in 2017, remaining with the ART Grand Prix squad he finished second with last season.
Formula 2GP2 Series

Ghiotto joins Markelov at Russian Time for 2017

1 Mins read
Luca Ghiotto will move from Trident to Russian Time in 2017, where he will join Artem Markelov.