Giedo van der Garde is excitedly looking forward to his Formula One debut his weekend when he takes his place on the grid with Caterham in Australia. The Dutchman has experience with the team as GP2 and reserve Formula One driver but admits this weekend will be completely different to anything he’s used to before.
“Honestly I can’t wait to get started. Melbourne will be my first Grand Prix start and, even though it’s taken a while to reach this point, I’m completely prepared and really looking forward to getting back to racing. Having spent a lot of time with the team last year nothing was new to me when I moved up to the Race Driver position, but it’s still a different world, being a Race Driver rather than a Reserve, but I’m enjoying every minute. I finished off 2012 with a win in Singapore, and, while we’re all realistic enough to know we’re not going to be fighting at that end of the grid, I also know I want to be in the right position to take advantage of anything that comes my way when the lights go out.”
“Over the season, I know Spa is going to be a great race as it’s so close to home, but for me the most exciting moment of 2013 will be when the lights go out in Melbourne and everything I’ve dreamed of for so long comes true. I’ve worked hard all winter and in the tests to prepare myself and I’m ready, physically and mentally.”
After a year with Marussia, Charles Pic will be making his Caterham debut in Melbourne and the Frenchman is up for the challenge of taking the team forward.
“I’m looking forward to returning to Melbourne, this time for my first race with Caterham F1 Team and I think it’s going to be a good weekend. Melbourne itself is a very nice city. It’s good to go from the end of the cold European winter to the hotter weather of Australia and even though the hours you spend flying mean you arrive feeling a bit destroyed, it’s the same for everyone and I’m feeling good physically and mentally so it won’t be an issue.”
“The circuit itself is very cool. It’s quick but as it’s a temporary street circuit the cars run with high downforce and it’s a good challenge to get a really clean lap in. FP1 is always quiet as the track is very green for the early part of the session, but it evolves a lot over the weekend and you need to time your qualifying lap right to make the most of the rubber that’s being laid down.”
“After the tests we’re definitely ready to start racing. We have a good idea of where we’re going to start out and I think we have a very interesting season ahead of us. Whatever happens, I’m enjoying myself in Caterham and it’s great to be part of a team that has such an exciting future ahead.”