F1 Biography: Giedo can der Garde

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Giedo van der Garde
Caterham F1
Born 4/25/85
Rhenen, Netherlands

With a Formula One career spanning back to 2007, however briefly, Dutch driver Giedo van der Garde is the oldest of the 2012 F1 rookies, turning twenty-eight years old just a few weeks after the season starts. With slightly better racing credentials than Marussia’s Max Chilton, van der Garde is also funding his own ride in Formula One with Caterham, in effect leaving veteran Heikki Kovalainen’s Grand Prix career more than likely over.

With a successful karting career which saw him take the Dutch title in 1998 and Super A World Champion in 2002, Giedo moved into cars a year later at the age of 15, finishing 6th in the Formula Renault 2000 Championship. A move up to the F3 Euroseries would only yield 9th place finishes in both 2004 and 2005. 2006 would bring his first victory in the series and a step up to 6th in the final standings.

In December of 2006, Gierdo would be announced as the Super Aguri Formula One Team’s test and reserve driver for 2007. Less than two months later, the Spyker F1 team would also lay claim to the Dutchman. A contract dispute followed, though van der Garde would eventually see testing action for Spyker during the summer. His inability to obtain a superlicense kept Giedo from taking part in any race weekend Friday practice sessions, however.

Back in the racing world, van der Garde would move up once more in ‘07, this time to the Formula Renault 3.5 series with the Victory Engineering squad, where he would again finish 6th at year’s end. The following season brought a move to P1 Motorsport, aptly named as it took van der Garde to his first and only title to date, claiming five wins and eight podiums on his way to the FR3.5 series.

His strong result pushed Giedo into GP2 for 2009, taking a single win and 12th in the GP2 Asia series with GHF Motorsport and a further three victories and a 7th place in the main GP2 series with iSport International. 2010 would see another 7th in the standings, this time with Barwa Addax, followed by a stronger 5th in 2011 with the team.

Van der Garde moved back into the testing field by signing with Caterham for 2012, a deal which also included a drive with the team in GP2. With two wins and six podiums, Giedo took 6th in the championship, but was nonetheless moved up to an F1 seat alongside Charles Pic for the 2013 season.

With a dozen wins across ten full seasons in cars, including one title, Giedo van der Garde may not have set the world alight on his way to Formula One. But in the world of pay drivers, Caterham could have done much, much worse.

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